ASX 200 sank 32 points (-0.74%) to 6795. Late rally off lows as we await the word from Jerome. Dow futures eased 14 points. Big banks sagged with CBA down slightly as it announced it was entering the BNPL market in Australia. The Basket fell to $166.39 with MQG up 0.2% and MFG down 0.5%. Miners under pressure despite iron ore rises, BHP lost 1.6% and RIO off 0.9% with gold easing and base metal stocks slipping back, S32 down 2.9%. Energy stocks fell led by WPL down 0.9% and STO off 0.8%. CSL came under renewed pressure drifting 0.3% lower but elsewhere other healthcare stocks steady. Industrials mixed, GMG down 1.4% WOW off 0.9% and TCL better to the tune of 0.7%. Tech stocks better led by APT up 1.1% and XRO up 1.7%. The AllTech Index rose 0.45%. In corporate news, CTD fell 5.6% after the CEO sold down another parcel. Plenty of capital raisings around in small caps from PDN to VML making hay whilst the commodity sun shines. In economic news, RBA assistant governor Christopher Kent talked about the lack of confidence in small business with many reluctant to take out new loans. Failures are likely as support is phased out. The WestpacMelbourne Institute Leading Index, which indicates the likely pace of economic activity three to nine months into the future, fell from 3.83% in January to 2.64% in February. 10-year yields pushed higher to 1.72% and the AUD steady. Asian markets weaker with Japan down 0.1% and China down 0.35%. Happy St Patrick’s Day. 

Today’s Highlights

  • ASX 200 down 32 to 6795. Quiet trading
  • High 6819 Low 6761. Below average volume
  • Waiting for FOMC
  • Big Bank Basket falls slightly to $166.39
  • All Tech Index up 0.45%
  • Dow Futures down 14 points
  • Gold rises to $2243
  • 10-year yield rises to 1.72%
  • AUD steady at 77.30c
  • Bitcoin firms to US$55800
  • Asian markets weaker with Japan down 0.1% and China down 0.35%


  • FCL +3.26% rally continues.
  • ADN +3.61% conference presentation.
  • CTD -5.58% CEO sell down.
  • GRR -4.76% iron ore pressure.
  • 88E -9.09% profit taking.
  • BNO -12.73% placement.
  • 5GN +2.42% acquisition.
  • FSF +1.08% higher milk prices will take cream off result.
  • RNT -11.54% drifting off again.
  • RED – trading halt – finances KOTH.
  • BTI +2.19% cashes out of DocsCorp.
  • RNU +27.27% conference presentation.
  • KSS +5.97% space play.
  • WBC -0.24% combines two divisions. Loses one executive.
  • MGH +7.64% index inclusion drives stock. Free float is small.
  • SWM -7.34% ugly duckling of the sector.
  • Speculative stock of the day: Cannindah Resources (CAE) +119.35% Huge volume as company announces Mt Cannindah project review highlighting the potential.
  • Biggest Winners: 360, MGH, DEG, ABR, MOE, CHN, PPK and MMM.
  • Biggest Losers: SWM, CTD, OML, REG, GRR, SXL and ING.


  • Paladin Energy (PDN) – Announce $218.7m fully underwritten 1 for 8.5 entitlement offer and institutional placement at 37c/share. Proceeds from the Equity Raise will be applied to the full redemption of the outstanding senior secured notes. Pro forma net cash position of ~US$30m post Equity Raise and redemption of the senior secured notes provides enhanced financial flexibility ahead of a future Langer Heinrich mine restart.
  • Corporate Travel Management (CTD) – 5.58%Confirms that MD Jamie Pherous has disposed of 1.5m shares at 2100c/share. Following the sale, Pherous will remain the company’s largest shareholder, continuing to hold 19.2m CTD shares (approximately 14.1% of CTD shares on issue).


Speech by Christopher Kent, RBA assistant governor address to the Australian Finance Industry Association. Click here. Titled Small business finance in the pandemic. Concluding remarks:

  • “Overall, smaller businesses have suffered significantly from the economic hardship caused by the pandemic. A wide range of monetary, fiscal and private-sector measures have provided support. Indeed, many of those measures obviated the need for small businesses to take out additional debt over the past year. While businesses’ confidence has improved markedly of late, a number of businesses, particularly smaller businesses, remain reluctant to take out new loans. Some of this reflects an economic outlook that, while improved, is still very uncertain. Also, access to finance for smaller businesses has been a long-standing challenge. There are a range of policies in place to help support the supply of business credit as the economic recovery proceeds. Given the importance of small businesses to the economy, we will continue to pay close attention to their access to finance and their prospects more broadly.”

Westpac-Melbourne Institute Leading Index, which indicates the likely pace of economic activity relative to trend three to nine months into the future, fell from 3.83% in January to 2.64% in February. Economist Bill Evans had this to say, “from our perspective the key driver of growth in 2021 will be the household sector as a sharp fall in the currently elevated savings rate will free up considerable funds to support strong consumer spending.” Added, “the recovery in the index growth rate continues to be dominated by international factors – US industrial production and commodity prices.”


  • Vaccine Tracker: 392m doses in 128 countries. 9.5m a day. In US 111m doses 2.44m a day.



  • Alibaba web browser removed from Chinese App store.
  • Samsung warns of severe chip shortage. Considers delaying the production of its new phone.
  • Chinese pig prices soar as swine fever woes continue.


  • US cautious about its meeting with China and not expecting any major breakthroughs.
  • One tiny ETF is beating the ‘guru’ Cathie Woods ARK Innovation Fund. Direxion Moonshot Innovators ETF (MOON) is up 39% this year against Cathie’s 3.5% gain.
  • US Intelligence says Putin authorised Pro Trump campaign.
  • Uber agrees to classify UK workers as workers and entitled to benefits.
  • EU proposes CV19 vaccine passport.
  • Online broker eToro going public in US$10bn SPAC deal.
  • ‘Taper tantrum’ and inflation now the biggest fund manager fear.
  • Congratulations to New Zealand, winning the America’s Cup.

And finally….

With a very seductive voice the woman asked her husband, “Have you ever seen Twenty Pound note all crumpled up?”

“No,” said her husband. She gave him a sexy little smile, unbuttoned the top 3 or 4 buttons of her blouse, and slowly reached down into the her cleavage and pulled out a crumpled Twenty Pound note

He took the crumpled Twenty pound note from her and smiled approvingly.

She then asked him, “Have you ever seen Fifty Pound note all crumpled up?”

“Uh… no, I have not,” he said, with an anxious tone in his voice. She gave him another sexy little smile, pulled up her skirt, and seductively reached into her pants and pulled out a crumpled Fifty Pound note.

He took the crumpled Fifty pound note, and started breathing a little quicker with anticipation.

“Now,” she said, “have you ever seen £50,000 pounds all crumpled up?”

He said “No!”, trying to hide his arousal. She said …… “Check the garage.”