ASX 200 finished the month with a bit of a damp squib in the end, up only 52 to 6791 (0.8%), a big 3.1% for the quarter. Dow futures down 12 points. After a solid opening, Chinese PMI and some end of quarter window dressing helped the buyers out from under the doona. Banks were strong as 10-year yields rose again to 1.8% and the Big Bank Basket rose to $164.69. Other financials were also strong as MQG rose 1.5% and insurers up led by QBE firming by 1.7%. Big miners also doing well on the stronger Chinese data, BHP rose 0.9% and RIO up 1.0% though FMG missed out, down 0.5%. Gold miners were one of the few sectors in the red, NCM lost 0.9% and NST fell 2.8%. No one loves gold it seems these days. Industrials blazed a trail today with defensives higher COL up 1.8% and WES up 0.8% with ALL doing well too up 2.2%. Bond proxy stocks also rose which seemed strange but strange is the new normal. TCL up 2.6% and SYD up 3.9% despite more flights cancelled and QLD shutdowns continuing. Go figure. CSL boomed higher by 0.9% leading the healthcare sector better, RHC up 1.5% and COH up 0.9%. Tech stocks were left out a little as value and banks the key. APT up 0.5% and XRO up 0.7% with the AllTech Index up 0.8%. In corporate news, Z1P rose 0.4% on a deal with JBH, SGF is raising funds to buy LeasePlan for $273m. In economic news, NZ business confidence fell 11 points to -4% in March. while NAB’s online retail sales index rose 0.1% in February. Elsewhere, up in Queensland QAN (+3%) and Virgin have been forced to collectively cancel 75 flights into and out of Brisbane as they enter their first full day of lockdown. Asian markets fell with Japan down 0.7% and China down 1.1%.

Today’s Highlights

  • ASX 200 up 52 to 6791. Soggy finish. Strong volume.
  • High 6863 Low 6755. Month end helps.
  • Big Bank Basket rose to $164.69.
  • Last quarter up 3.1% 6587.
  • All Tech Index up 0.8%
  • Dow futures down 12
  • Gold slips to $2210.
  • 10-year yield rising to 1.80% ahead of Biden infrastructure spending.
  • AUD slips to 76.02c
  • Bitcoin stronger at US$58579
  • Asian markets fell with Japan down 0.7% and China down 1.1% on better than expected PMI numbers.


  • URW +6.36% vaccine hopes in Europe and US.
  • ALX +5.68% France getting under control.
  • HUB +4.37% bargain hunting.
  • BET +3.48% MT adds more to Growth Portfolio.
  • SYD +3.86% strange given Easter flights cancellations.
  • ONE +36.21% Global launch of Cloud Care
  • RHY +8.18% good bounce on cert retention.
  • Z1P +0.41% sews up JBH deal.
  • OPY -1.66% back after 203c placement.
  • SGF – acquisition of LeasePlan for $273m.
  • JAN +7.69% partnership with OECD momentum.
  • BYE -13.79% debt financing and drilling update.
  • ART -15.15% profit taking continues.
  • PXS +1.25% enters new clinical trial to stop scabs forming after burns.
  • Speculative Stock of the Day: 88E +60.47% another huge rise on drilling results and massive volume. Hard to believe this is nearly a $1.5bn company. Better be a big find in Alaska. 861m shares traded.
  • Biggest Winners: 88E, URW, CIA, ALX, ABC, NHC and SZL
  • Biggest Losers: ART, ADN, MGX, WAF, CMM, STX and LTR.


  • Suncorp Group (SUN) +1.54% Provides claims update from flooding; estimates net claims costs will be -$230m – $250m in relation to this event.
  • Emeco Holdings (EHL) -UNCHANGED- CFO Neil Siford to step down Sep-21.
  • Paradigm Biopharmaceuticals (PAR) -1.53% Enters new R&D agreement with bene pharmaChem; to develop IP that Paradigm will commercialise.
  • Telix Pharmaceuticals (TLX) -1.15% Completes agreement with Grand River Aspetic Manufacturing for commercial manufacturing of Illuccix.
  • Dalrymple Bay Terminal (DBI) +1.85% Queensland Competition Authority confirms move to light-handed regulatory framework for Dalrymple Bay Terminal. Key highlights: QCA has confirmed a light-handed regulatory framework will commence from expiry of the current access undertaking on 1 July 2021 and run for five years until the next review date. Under the light-handed regulatory framework the Company is free to negotiate commercial price setting arrangements with customers, rather than be bound to a single reference tariff set by the QCA. This transition from ‘heavy-handed’ regulation to a ‘light-handed’ framework will align DBI’s pricing structure with other Australian coal terminals and provides the company with the ability to seek infrastructure charges that better reflect the value individual customers place on accessing DBT’s services.


  • CBA analysis says the 21.6% surge in building approvals last month (after a 19% fall in January) supported by HomeBuilder could turn once the subsidy scheme expires today.
  • More than 75,000 applications have been processed through the grant scheme. Approvals for alterations and additions are up 36% over the past 12 months.
  • NAB’s online retail sales index rose only 0.1% in February in seasonally adjusted terms, while four out of eight categories recorded sales growth.


  • Vaccine Tracker: 574m doses in 141 countries. In US 148m doses at 2.77m a day.



  • Chinese manufacturing PMI stood at 51.9% in March, up 1.3% compared with 50.6% in February. In January, the PMI stood at 51.3. Non-Manufacturing PMI 56.3. Beats forecasts.
  • Chinese fintechs under pressure in HK on local crackdown.


  • European markets set to open slightly lower.
  • UK GDP for 4Q to be released. Expecting better news than last time.
  • AstraZeneca still have issues with vaccines in Europe. Merkel flips again.
  • Deliveroo makes its UK debut at bottom of the price range. Biggest IPO for a decade.
  • ‘Voltswagen’ is not being renamed after all. It was a April Fool’s day joke apparently. Bit early.
  • JP Morgan says losses could be up to US$10bn.
  • Regulators now looking long and hard to banks on handling of the fire sale.
  • US looking to block Illumina’s acquisition of liquid biopsy group.
  • Biden to unveil his cunning stimulus plan.

And finally….

The Missing Dollar

Three brothers check into a motel and ask the clerk for the cheapest room.

He tells them it’s $30 a night and they each hand him a $10 bill, take the key, and go to the room.

A half hour later the clerk realizes he was supposed to give a current $5 discount so he calls the bellboy over and hands him five crisp $1 bills and tells him to go give them to the three brothers. 

He knocks on the door and tells the brothers about the mistake and hands one of them the five $1 bills. The brother takes $1 and hands each of the brothers one $1 and hands the remaining two $1 bills to the bellboy as a tip. With each brother holding a $1 bill that means they paid only $9 each for the room. Three times nine equals $27. The bellboy got $2 which when added to the $27 the brothers ended up paying equals $29.

Which poses the question . . .  what happened to the other remaining dollar?