ASX 200 picked up what we lost Friday rising 44 to 6752 (+0.7%). Dow futures down 46 points. A solid day in banks and industrials as CWN got a bid approach from Blackstone and rose 21.4%. Volumes were light but the falling AUD and 10-year yields dragged buyers back especially in industrials and healthcare. CSL rose 2.4% with RHC up 2.1% and SHL rising 3.2%. ALL had a positive day on falling AUD putting on 1.5% and other gaming stocks TAH up 2.4% and SGR up 3.9%. The Big Bank Basket rose again to $164.23 led by CBA up 0.4%. Insurers lost ground as the NSW floods dampened enthusiasm, QBE off 3.0% and IAG down 2.3%. Still too early to tell how much it will cost the insurance sector, JLG did well as a fixer of flood issues, up 6.7%. The only other sector in trouble today was iron ore following price falls on environmental moves in China. BHP lost 0.9%, FMG down 4.2% and RIO off 1.1%. Second line ore producers also struggling, GRR down 8.6% and CIA off 10.1%. Gold miners improved led by NCM up 2.0% and EVN up 3.6%. Energy stocks did ok with STO up 2.4%, in the tech sector, the AllTech Index rose 0.3% with APT up 1.1% and XRO slipping 0.2%. In corporate news, FNP had a volatile start back on the ASX following its recapitalisation opening at 18c before the buyers stepped in and closed it down only 82.4% at 53c. TLS up 1.2% as it announced its new corporate structure and WOW rose 2.0% on media stories of a potential PE buy of Endeavour Drinkies. The 10-year yield fell to 1.74% and the AUD at 76.90c helping some. In Asia, Nikkei off 2% and China up 0.7%.

Today’s Highlights

  • ASX 200 up 44 to 6752
  • High 6763 Low 6688. Below average volume
  • Big Bank Basket rose slightly to $164.23
  • All Tech Index up 0.3%
  • Dow Futures down 46
  • Gold firms to $2254
  • 10-year yield slips to 1.74%
  • AUD falls back to 77.20c
  • Bitcoin slips back to US$57230
  • In Asia, Japan off 0.98% and China up 0.86%


  • CWN +21.40% Blackstone bid.
  • BRN +12.78% punters love this one. Chip fire helps.
  • SKO +7.84% thin volume as usual.
  • SWM +5.32% bargain hunters.
  • JLG +6.69% winner from floods.
  • FNP -82.39% reinstated amidst huge volume and volatility.
  • CIA -10.11% GRR -8.57% MGX -4.19% iron ore falls.
  • NXL -3.38% sell-off resumes.
  • ADT -7.27% near-surface mineralisation.
  • RNT -13.79% finance agreement signed. Launch update.
  • 88E +35.29% drilling update.
  • PRL +24.14% board changes.
  • ONE +9.33% rocket emojis at ten paces.
  • MIN -3.97% Wonmunna iron ore project produces first ore
  • Speculative stock of the day: QEM Limited (QEM) +53.33% ceasing to be a substantial shareholder. Julia Creek hydrogen the focus.
  • Biggest Winners: CWN, BRN, SKO, BGL, JLG and ERA.
  • Biggest Losers: FNP, CIA, ADN, GRR, PPK, ABR, STX and FCL.


  • Crown Resorts (CWN) +21.40% Blackstone launches a takeover offer for Crown Resorts at 1185c/share. The Crown board has not yet formed a view on the merits of the proposal.
  • Telstra Corp. (TLS)+1.25%Sets out the process to enable the legal restructuring of Telstra, including: The establishment of a new holding company for the Telstra Group. The creation of separate subsidiaries including InfraCo Fixed (which will be the existing Telstra Corporation), InfraCo Towers, ServeCo and Telstra International, and transferring the relevant assets into InfraCo Towers and ServeCo. It is proposed that the establishment of the new holding company and the transfer of the relevant assets into ServeCo be undertaken by way of schemes of arrangement, and Telstra intends to seek shareholder approval of these schemes at this year’s AGM in October. Following the restructure, Telstra shareholders will own shares in the new holding company on a like for like basis with no change to their ownership levels.
  • ANZ (ANZ) +0.50% Agrees to settle US class action complaint related to BBSW trading (terms undisclosed). The financial impact of the settlement is not material.
  • Openpay Group (OPY) -3.35% To enter US and UK veterinary markets via partnership with ezyVet. ezyVet has more than 2,000 practices globally, of which more than 1,200 are in the US, accounting for 25% of the veterinary cloud software market in the US. Openpay plans on the ezyVet platform are expected to be made available to consumers in the UK before the end of FY21 and in early FY22 in the US.
  • Beach Energy (BPT) =1.45% Reports gas discovery at Artisan 1 exploration well. Highlights: 69.5 metres gross column within the Upper Waarre Formation with net gas pay of 62.9 metres. Additional 20.9 metre gross column with 4.6 metres of net pay in the overlying Flaxman Formation. The well is being cased and suspended as a future producer.
  • QBE Insurance Group (QBE) -2.97% Reports it has no credit exposure to Greensill entities in response to media commentary.
  • Insurance Australia Group (IAG) -2.26% Update from heavy rainfall in NSW. More than 2,100 claims have been lodged as of 21-March mainly property damage. Based on the current level of claim lodgements and the ongoing impact of the event. Adds it is too early to accurately determine the net cost of the flooding and storms.
  • CBA (CBA) +0.44% CEO Matthew Comyn discloses sale of 22k shares.Comyn beneficially owns 62K (direct & indirect) fully paid ordinary shares following the transaction.


  • Not a cracker today.


  • Experts believe they have found the possible transmission source, China’s wildlife trade.
  • Bloomberg has now stopped it’s special section on CV10 every day. One year on. Sign of the times.



  • Chinese boats have swarmed a disputed reef near the Philippines. 220 ships all at once.
  • Chip fire at Renesas (one of the largest chip-making plants) has just made the shortage even worse.  Renesas is one of the biggest suppliers of car chips and Toyota is suffering.
  • Two new members appointed to the PBoC’s monetary policy committee. The PBoC is looking to pare back its stimulus programs. The PBOC has said it wants to balance providing support for growth while reducing financial risks, a pledge that Governor Yi Gang reiterated Sunday.


  • Former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers warned that the U.S. is suffering from the “least responsible” macroeconomic policy in four decades.
  • The European Union is ready to start withholding Covid-19 shots from the U.K. The U.K. is the largest recipient of doses made in the EU, receiving 10m of 42m shots from the bloc so far.
  • Canadian Pacific buys Kansas City Southern for US$29bn.
  • Turkish Lira hits all-time low. President sacks central bank head.
  • Chelsea beat Sheffield United to make FA Cup Semi-Final.

And finally…some sage advice from a firiend of mine….

Life is like a river. You cannot touch the water twice, because the flow that has passed will never pass again. Enjoy every moment of life. As a bagpiper, I play many gigs. Recently I was asked by a funeral director to play at a graveside service for a homeless man. He had no family or friends, so the service was to be at a pauper’s cemetery in the Nova Scotia back country.

As I was not familiar with the backwoods, I got lost and, being a typical man, I didn’t stop for directions.

I finally arrived an hour late and saw the funeral guy had evidently gone and the hearse was nowhere in sight. There were only the diggers and crew left and they were eating lunch. I felt badly and apologized to the men for being late.

I went to the side of the grave and looked down and the vault lid was already in place. I didn’t know what else to do, so I started to play.

The workers put down their lunches and began to gather around. I played out my heart and soul for this man with no family and friends. I played like I’ve never played before for this homeless man.

And as I played “Amazing Grace”, the workers began to weep. They wept, I wept, we all wept together. When I finished, I packed up my bagpipes and started for my car. Though my head was hung low, my heart was full.

As I opened the door to my car, I heard one of the workers say, “I never seen anything like that before, and I’ve been putting in septic tanks for twenty years.”

Apparently, I’m still lost . . . it’s a man thing.