ASX 200 slipped 25 points to 6800 (-0.36%) as early enthusiasm waned on the three-day Brisbane lockdown and CV19 fears again. Easter will be seriously disrupted. Travel stocks eased on the news with FLT down 3.0% and WEB off 2.8%. It all started so well but the lockdown knocked the winds from the sails and the banks slipped with the Big Bank Basket down to $164.03. Healthcare stocks that starred last week fell led by CSL down 0.8% and RHC off 0.7%, European lockdowns continue to grow. Big miners better on commodity prices led by the iron ore behemoths, BHP up 1.7% and FMG up 2.1%. Energy stocks flat as news broke that the Ever Given was partially re-floated and engines are running. Tech stocks under pressure as punters locked in profits before quarter-end and BNPL remains under pressure. APT dropped 4.2%, XRO fell 3.4% in sympathy. The All–Tech Index fell 2.6%. In corporate news, MOC rose 62.5% after it received a 195c cash bid from REA and AMP remains under a cloud down 3.3% as Ares circles and management dithers. Some good news from BET up 5.9% on an investor presentation, ING lost a CEO who is a natural ‘leaver’ according to the company. In economic news, nothing of significance. 10-year yield steady at 1.68%. Asian markets better with Japan up 1.3% and China up 0.8%. Dow futures down 110.
- ASX 200 down 25 to 6800.
- High 6861 Low 6794. Below average volume.
- Big Bank Basket fell slightly to $164.03.
- Jobkeeper ends not with a bang but a whimper.
- Oil falls on tanker news.
- US hedge fund defaulted on margin calls. Credit Suisse and others involved. More to come.
- Nomura warns of big loss in US.
- All Tech Index down 2.6%.
- Dow futures down 185.
- Gold slips to $2267.
- 10-year yield slightly higher at 1.68%.
- AUD firms to 76.23c.
- Bitcoin stronger at US$55,317
- Asian markets better with Japan up 0.14% and China up 0.48%.
- PDN +8.00% movement in uranium stocks.
- GXY +4.56% broker upgrade.
- SKO +4.89% thin but firm.
- BRN -11.02% profit taking continues.
- NWL -5.19% brokers stick the boot in following ANZ loss.
- HUB -4.44% falls in sympathy with NWL.
- ING -4.72% executive changes.
- Z1P -4.52% falls continue.
- RHY -8.63% profit taking again.
- ONE -8.57% stops going off.
- MOC +62.55% REA bid.
- SDV +11.35% Investor update Haldon Industries acquisition.
- 88E +12.90% operations update.
- WBC -unchanged- NZ rating on review by Fitch.
- IPO of the Day: Mad Paws (MPA) -8.33%
- Speculative Stock of the Day: Golden Mile Resources (G88) +130.77% thick high-grade gold at Benalla project.
- Biggest Winners: PDN, ILU, STX. GRR, BET, MGX and CHN.
- Biggest Losers: BRN, MP1, PAR, NWL, DHG, ASB and ING.
- REA Group (REA) -1.86% Is set to acquire Mortgage Choice (MOC) for $1.95 a share via scheme of arragangement. MOC Directors unanimously recommend shareholders vote in favour of the scheme. REA will fund the acquisition via an increase in its syndicated debt facilities.
- Tabcorp (TAH) –2.70% Has rejected the unsolicited approaches for its wagering & media business, saying they do not adequately value the business. The company is set to undergo a strategic review to evaluate its options in order to maximise the value of Tabcorp’s businesses to shareholders, with the potential sale or demerger of the wagering & media business remaining an option.
- Computershare (CPU) +0.79% Complete the institutional portion of its underwritten 1 for 8.8 pro-rata accelerated renounceable rights offer, raining $500m at $13.55 a share. A further $355m is expected to be raised through the retail portion of the offer, with the funds to be used to partially fund the acquisition of the assets of Wells Fargo Corporate Trust Service.
- Inghams (ING) –4.72% Chief executive Jim Leighton has resigned from his role, effective immediately, returning to the US for personal reasons. Non-executive director Andrew Reeves will be appointed chief executive and managing director.
- Worley (WOR) +0.66% Confirm the ~$48m cash sale of Capital Projects Advisory to TSA Management.
- Treasury Wine (TWE) –1.39% Note the final determination from China’s Ministry of Commerce in its anti-dumping and countervailing investigations into Australian Wine Exports. The final determination sees a combined duty rate of 175.6% slapped on TWE’s Chinese imports in containers of two litres or more with Australian Country of Origin.
- AMP Capital (AMP) –3.35% Conclude the 30-day exclusivity period with Ares Management with no transaction made on AMP Capital. AMP and Ares are still working on a potential deal, with Ares expressing interest in acquiring 100% of AMP’s private markets business. The duty will apply from March 28th 2021 and remain for at least 5 years.
- APRA has reminded Parliament that it is responsible for financial stability, not house prices. Head Wayne Byres has said he is watching home prices and lending standards but has seen no reason for concern.
- ABS Numbers out on CV19 Impacts
- Chinese tech stocks fall on fears of US delistings and more regulation in China.
- Nomura has announced a potential US$2bn loss from its US business with some speculating that it is tied up with the big block liquidation trades on Friday from Archegos Capital.
- Bilibili has fallen on its HK debut after raising US$2.6bn in IPO proceeds.
US AND EUROPEAN HEADLINES
- Big news on the huge US margin call issue – will dominate newswires.
- Ever Given is back afloat. Engines running. Partially at least. Oil falls. 400 ship tailback.
- Democrats believe they have the numbers to get the US$3 trillion spending package through.
- Sanjeev Gupta is in a desperate rush to raise cash as the steel empire is under threat. He has asked UK government for help.
- If you stacked every container end to end on the Ever Given, it would be 90 miles long.