ASX 200 slipped from early highs to close up 3 points at 7029 (0.04%). Dow futures up 100 points. WBC results set the banking sector alight, and the blue touch paper took over with the Big Bank Basket racing up to $172.26 with WBC the star following a cash earnings beat and a bigger cost out target. ANZ and NAB to follow. MQG dropped 0.2% as focus switched to big four. Other financials slipped slightly, MFG down 1.3% and QBE up 1.3%. Big miners saw sellers as Asian markets closed for some days, BHP down 1.4% and RIO dropping 0.9%. Gold miners too eased back with NCM down 0.9% and NST off 0.3%. Energy stocks dipped, STO down 2.3% and BPT found some solace as Stokes raised stake, closing unchanged though. Industrials were under pressure with APT down 3.1% in the tech sector and XRO slipping 1.1%. The All-Tech Index down 1.6%. Telcos had a good day with TLS up 3.0% and TPG finally finding some buyers rallying 5.4% off a multi-year low. In corporate news, it was all about the return of the Bank of NSW otherwise known as WBC up 5.00% on results. TCL fell 1.0% on an investor day briefing. In economic news, ANZ job ads rise for the 11th straight month. MI Inflation gauge up 0.4% in April to be up 2.3% over the year. Asian markets mostly closed for holidays.

Today’s Highlights

  • ASX 200 up 3 to 7029. Gives up early gains.
  • High 7068 Low 7022 Banks shine. WBC stars.
  • Big Bank Basket races to $172.26
  • All Tech Index down 1.63%
  • Dow futures up 100.
  • Australian Gold rises to $2300
  • 10-year yield steady at 1.74%
  • AUD eases to 77.11c.
  • Bitcoin rises at US$59748
  • Asian markets closed until Thursday.


  • DUB +8.63% recording fresh highs.
  • PBH +5.59% broker upgrade.
  • TPG +5.44% bottom picking?
  • WBC +5.00% cash results and cost out.
  • GEM +3.50% Budget help.
  • ELD – 1.23% new CFO Tania Foster.
  • PMV -1.26 %Lew pays back $15m in Jobkeeper.
  • NSR +2.99% stirring.
  • TLS +2.95% fund manager says M&A possible.
  • AVZ -5.71% lithium project update.
  • VUL -5.91% profit taking.
  • RMD -4.43% broker downgrades.
  • IRD -17.24% placement.
  • BBX +19.23% exploration update.
  • RED +5.41% investor presentation
  • SPL +6.51% broker upgrades.
  • Speculative Stock of the Day: Taruga Minerals (TAR) +77.97% good volume too on news of a high- grade copper discovery at Mt Craig project SA. 5m at 2.4% Cu from 17m. 1m at 9.5% Cu.
  • Biggest Winners: DUB, IMU, SPL, PBH, TPG, MGH and WBC.
  • Biggest Losers: ADO, AX1< PPK, VUL, AVZ, OBL and SZL.


  • Westpac (WBC) +5.00% H1 cash earnings $3.82bn ex-items vs year-ago $2.40bn. Net interest margin (NIM) 2.09% vs year-ago 2.13%. CET1 capital ratio 12.34% vs 11.13% at the end of September. Interim dividend of 58c. Statutory net profit $3.443bn. The increase in profit was largely due to large impairment charges incurred in the First Half 2020 of $2,238m, whereas First Half 2021 included an impairment benefit of $372m. Westpac New Zealand CEO David McLean to retire.
  • Premier Investments (PMV) -1.26% To repay $15.6m of jobkeeper funds. Adds it is confident it can achieve full-year EBIT (pre-AASB 16) consensus of $318m.
  • APN Convenience Retail REIT (AQR) +1.44% Completes new 10-year leases across all 13 sites to EG Group. Weighted average lease expiry (WALE) increases to 11.8 years, +1.3% vs current. Average reduction in EG Group rents 2.4%, representing 0.3% reduction of total portfolio rent. No impact on FY21 funds from operations (FFO) and minimal impact on FY22/23 FFO. Valuations across the 13 sites increased by $17.7m, +25.9% vs prior. Net tangible assets (NTA) increased to 349c/security vs 335c/security at the end of December.
  • Elders (ELD) -1.23% Appoints Tania Foster as CFO, effective 31-May. Foster was previously CFO at National Australia Bank (NAB) for business and private banking.
  • Seven West Media (SWM) -4.21% Q3 advertising revenue grew at the upper end of 7-10% range. Q3 FY21 advertising revenue grew at the upper end of the +7-10% range provided at the first-half results briefing in February. Confirms partnership agreements with Google and Facebook. SWM anticipates the digital revenue associated with the agreements will commence before the end of FY21, with the majority to be derived in FY22.
  • Australian Unity Office Fund (AOF) -2.45% Q3 update: reaffirms FY21 funds from operations guidance of 18.3-18.7c.Occupancy at the end of March is 95.2% vs half year-ago 95%. Rental collections, including the collection of arrears, were over 100% of billing during the quarter. Excluding payment of arrears, rent collections were 97% during the quarter. Reaffirms distribution guidance of 15.0cpu.


  • Sydney house prices rose 2.4% last month, Melbourne’s prices climbed 1.3%, and in Brisbane, prises advanced 1.7%.
  • Nationwide housing values rose 1.8% in April, down from the 2.8% national gain in March.
  • Melbourne Institute Inflation gauge for April: Headline: +0.4%/month to be up 2.3% on the year, trimmed Mean: +0.3%/month to be up 1.6% on the year.
  • ANZ job advertisements for April +4.7% to 196,612, up 198.8% over the year.


  • Vaccine Tracker: 1.16bn doses now in 174 countries. 21.1m a day. In US 246m doses at 2.42m a day.
  • Daily deaths in India hit a record 3,689 on Sunday.UK pledges to send 1000 ventilators.
  • U.S. cases dropped to 45,236, the fewest on a Saturday since late September.



  • Indian PM Modi has lost a key seat in elections as voter anger grows.
  • Chinese and Japanese market closed.


  • Ether hits US$3000 as Bitcoin dominance fades. Now only 46% of crypto market value of US$2.3 trillion. Bitcoin was 70% at the start of the year.
  • Credit Suisse made just5 US$17.5m in fees from Archegos before losing a massive US$5.4bn. Risk reward all wrong there.
  • European banks planning to take on PayPal, Mastercard, Visa and Apple.
  • SPACs under pressure as sector trading 39% below their highs.

And finally…..

            Walking into the bar, Mike said to Charlie the bartender,

‘Pour me a stiff one – just had another fight with the little woman.’

            Oh yeah?’ said Charlie, ‘And how did this one end?’

            ‘When it was over,’ Mike replied, ‘She came to me on her

hands and knees.’

            ‘Really,’ said Charles, ‘Now that’s a switch! What did she


            She said, ‘Come out from under the bed, you little chicken.’

            It was raining hard and a big puddle had formed in front of

an Irish pub.

            An old man stood beside the puddle holding a stick with a

string on the end and jiggled it up and down in the water.

            A curious gentleman asked what he was doing.

            ‘Fishing,’ replied the old man.

            ‘Poor old fool’ thought the gentleman, so he invited the

old man to have a drink in the pub.

            Feeling he should start some conversation while they were

sipping their whisky, the gentleman asked, And how many have you caught?’

            ‘You’re the eighth”.