ASX 200 limped 42 points (+0.61%) higher to 6928 in flaccid post-Easter trade. Dow Futures up 34 points helping. IMF upgrade to GDP helping positive sentiment. Banks shone as WBC looks to a big payday with its Coinbase investment, the stock rose 0.6%. The Big Bank Basket up to $166.15. MQG missed the memo, losing 0.3% whilst insurers were mildly positive. Healthcare did well as RHC rose 1.5% and SHL rallied 2.5% with FPH up 2.4%. Industrials were generally firm led by ALL up 1.8% and WOW up 0.8%. Tech stocks mixed as APT rose 2.1% with other BNPL stocks slipping from yesterday’s gains. SZL down 2.4% and Z1P dropping 3.9%. The All–Tech Index up 0.9%. Miners were mixed with BHP failing to launch, RIO up 1.2% and S32 up 2.5% with gold miners finding friends, NST up 4.2%. In corporate news, RMS up 3.2%, Q3 production in line with guidance at 66koz. NXT up 0.6%, added to conviction buy list at Goldman Sachs, target price lifted to 1500c from 1350c. ANZ Consumer confidence fell 4.6 points last week on the back of renewed lockdowns and border restrictions. 10-year bond yields slipped slightly to 1.75%. Asian markets mixed with Japan up 0.67% and China off 0.37%.
- ASX 200 up 42 to 6928. Below average volume.
- High 6934 Low 6889.
- Big Bank Basket rises to $166.15.
- All Tech Index up 0.9%
- Dow futures up 34.
- Gold rallies to $2271
- 10-year yield falls to 1.76%
- AUD firms to 76.48c
- Bitcoin weaker at US$57767.
- Asian markets mixed with Japan up 0.67% and China off 0.37%
- WBC +0.6% could be in for a big win with its Coinbase listing.
- RCE +6.12% successful treatment of one patient.
- OPY -6.12% presentation fails to stir.
- BGL -4.40% some give back.
- Z1P -3.92% profit takers.
- NXT +0.64% broker upgrade.
- APT +2.10% still enjoying upgrade.
- ORE +7.40% PLS +6.36% looking good. Lithium rally.
- NST +4.21% gold miners enjoying a day in the sun.
- ALC +8.06% optimism continues.
- BBX -21.57% exploration update
- 88E –8.33% Slide continues. No rocket emojis.
- PRL -10.00% landholding increase fails to excite.
- IPO of the Day: Techgen Metals (TG1) +45.00% gold explorer.
- Speculative Stock of the Day: Not much around today. Silver City Minerals (SCI) +61.11% transformational WA high-grade gold project acquisition.
- Biggest Winners: IMU, ORE, PLS, WAF, DEG, CHN and GXY.
- Biggest Losers: TLX, INR, SKO, MMM, ABC, CWT and BGL
- Sealink (SLK) +2.35% Macquarie expects Sealink Travel Group to consider a bid for bus company Ritchies, which is valued ~$500m.
- Ramelius Resources (RMS) +3.16% Q3 gold production of 66,029oz vs guidance 65 – 70Koz. Notes cash and gold balance of $230.6m.
- NextDC (NXT) +0.64% Added to Conviction Buy List at Goldman Sachs. The firm cites a strong growth outlook and share price pullback in the last 6 months. Target increased to 1500c from 1350c.
- VGI Partners (VGI) -1.46% Appoints Jonathan Howie as CEO; Robert Luciano to continue role as Executive Chairman.
- EML Payments (EML) +5.45% Enter binding share purchase agreement to acquire Sentenial for upfront enterprise value of €70m ($108.6m). Acquisition details: Entered into a binding Share Purchase agreement to acquire 100% of Sentenial Limited and its wholly owned subsidiaries including their open banking product, Nuapay for an upfront enterprise value of €70m ($108.6m), plus an earn-out component of up to €40m ($62.1m). The combined group is expected to process in excess of A$90B in Gross Debit Volume in FY22. Completion of the deal is subject to regulatory approval from the FCA and ACPR with the acquisition expected to complete in late FY21.
- AiGroup performance of construction index rose by 4.4 points, from 57.4 to 61.8 in March. A reading above 50 indicates expansion.
- The ‘final’ IHS Markit services purchasing manager index rose from 53.4 in February to 55.0 in March.
- Consumer confidence fell 4.6 points last week on the back of renewed lockdowns and border restrictions. All subindices weakened, marking the largest fall since late-March 2020.
- New vehicle sales rose 22% in March from a year ago. The FCAI said in March there were 100,005 new vehicles sold by dealers nationwide, compared with 81,690 in March last year.
- Electric vehicle sales amounted to 411, compared with 248 a year earlier.
- The biggest-selling vehicle for the month was the Toyota Hi-Lux ute. Sales for that model soared 49.6%, with 5319 sold.
- Goodbye Thai bubble as new wave hits Bangkok.
- Brazil death toll hits 4,000 in one day for first time.
- South Korea added 668 new coronavirus cases, the largest daily increase in 13 weeks.
- U.S. cruises could resume by mid-summer with restrictions, the CDC said Tuesday.
- The U.S. government won’t issue so-called vaccine passports, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said.
- Vaccine Tracker: 689 does in 153 countries. 16.3m a day. US now at 169m doses and 3m a day.
- Toshiba approached by PE with a US$20bn offer.
- Samsung Q1 profit guidance up 44% to US$8.3bn on new smartphone demand. Revenue up 17%.
US AND EUROPEAN HEADLINES
- Joe Biden has set a new vaccine goal for all Americans to be eligible to be vaccinated by April 19th.
- US considers boycott of Chinese Winter Olympics.
- Goldman Sachs bought GBP75m worth of Deliveroo to help support price.
- Jeff Bezos support tax hike. Not that its something he pays anyway.
- German finance minister calls for a united front in fight against CV19. Supports a global minimum tax too.
- EU regulator is set to probe the Russian Sputnik vaccine trails on ethical ground.
A very compelling story
Over 80 years ago, in Greece, sixty thousand Jews lived peacefully in Thessaloniki. It was a valued and vibrant community.
Most of these Jews worked in the port. So much so that the port of Thessaloniki was even closed on Saturday, Shabbat. Great emeritus rabbis also lived and studied there. Everyone rubbed shoulders and appreciated each other.
But on September 2, 1939, on the eve of the outbreak of World War II, it is on this great community that the Nazi terror will suddenly rise. On April 6, 1941, Hitler invaded Greece in order to secure its southern front before launching the famous Operation Barbarossa and its great offensive against Russia. Of the 60,000 Jews in Thessaloniki, around 50,000 will be exterminated at the Birkenau concentration camp, in record time!
The massacre of the Jews of Greece was brief but intense. Very few will have the chance to make it. But among the survivors there was a family known as Bourla.
And after the war, in 1961, a son was born into this miraculous family in the camps. His parents called him Israel – Abraham. He grew up and studied veterinary medicine in Greece. A brilliant student, Abraham will get his doctorate in reproductive biotechnology at the veterinary school of Aristotle University in Salonika.
At the age of 34, he decided to move to the United States. He changes his first name Abraham, to Albert. Albert was integrated into the medical industry. He progressed quickly and joined a pharmaceutical company in 1993 where he became “Head manager.” Abraham (Albert) rose through the ranks and got his appointment as CEO of this company in 2019. Throughout the year Albert decides to direct the efforts of the company to try to find a vaccine against a new virus (Covid)which has just struck the world. He expends great financial and technological efforts to achieve his goal.
A year later the WHO (World Health Organization) validates his company to produce the long-awaited vaccine His vaccine will be distributed in several countries including Germany, which counts thousands of dead from the pandemic.
Ironically, this vaccine which will save the lives of millions of people around the world including many Germans, was led and pushed by a Jew from Thessaloniki, son of Holocaust survivors from whom most of his people were exterminated by Nazi Germany.
And that is why Israel became the first country to receive the vaccine. In memory of his grandparents and his parents, who gave birth to Israel.
Abraham Bourla is known today as Albert Bourla – CEO of Pfizer.