ASX 200 fell 23 points to 7092 (0.3%) in late sell-off. Dow futures up 55 points. Another day of low conviction trade with the banks firm again and the resources softer. The Big Bank Basket flat at $181.17 with CBA hitting a 109-year record of $100 a share briefly. WBC up 0.3% and insurers doing well, SUN up 0.7% and IAG in the frame, rising 0.6%. Other financials were mixed. Industrials were mixed too with REH down 3.2%, GMG off 1.2% and TCL down 0.9%. WES up 0.7% and REA moving higher by 2.8% as it secures FIRB approval to buy MOC. Tech rallying in places with the AllTech index up 1.3% led by APT rising 0.9% and XRO up 1.5%. Resources were the fly in the bullish ointment with iron ore miners slipping as BHP fell 2.4% and FMG down 2.3%. Gold miners better, NCM up 1.4% and NST higher by 2.6% with copper stocks tarnished, OZL down 5.0% and IGO down 1.7%.  In corporate news, ALQ up 12.8% with profit lifting 35%, will pay a final dividend of 14.6c, up from 6.1c a year ago. APA adds 0.4%, reaffirms guidance at investor day, sees 51c distribution per security. NAB down 0.2%, facing court over underpayment claims. On the economic front, total construction work done rose 2.4%. The 10-year yield steady at 1.69% with the AUD pushing up towards 78c again. Asian markets firmer with Japan up 0.06% and China up 0.36%.

Today’s Highlights

  • ASX 200 down 23 to 7092.
  • High 7136 Low 7090.  Narrow range. Quiet again.
  • Big Bank Basket flat at $181.17.
  • Melbourne outbreak widens.
  • All Tech Index up 1.3%
  • Dow futures up 55
  • Australian Gold rallies to $2446.
  • 10-year yield steady at 1.68%
  • AUD firms to 77.80c
  • Bitcoin volatility sees rally continue up to US$39310.
  • Asian markets firmer with Japan up 0.06% and China up 0.36%


STOCKS

  • ALQ +12.84% results positive.
  • CBA -0.05% hits $100 for first time in 109 years.
  • PPK +9.59% BNNT fans.
  • KGN -5.73% reverses gains.
  • ASX -0.05% Deputy quits.
  • JHX +2.95% US builders going well.
  • MOC +0.26% FIRB approval for REA scheme.
  • RBL -4.91% sell off continues.
  • DEV -10.98% encouraging copper assays.
  • RXM -10.00% copper stocks under pressure.
  • CBR -7.69% wheels fallen off.
  • CARR +27.66% last day.
  • IMU +3.30% off highs.
  • IMM +13.56% Chinese patent.
  • IGL +10.89% business update.
  • NST +2.56% KCGM site visit.
  • STX -4.55% West Erregulla update.
  • Speculative Stock of the Day: Imagion Biosys (IBX) +38.30% First in human study update and first patient enrolled.
  • Biggest Winners: ALQ, PPK, ADO, CHN, IMD, 360, RMC and JIN.
  • Biggest Losers: KGN, OZL, RBL, MGX, STX, ABB and APE

TODAY

  • APA Group (APA) +0.42% Publishes presentation for today’s investor meeting; reconfirms FY21 guidance – distributions per security of 51.0 cps, underlying EBITDA of $1.625-1.665bn and underlying net interest of $490-500m.
  • Fletcher Building (FBU) +3.87% Upgrades FY21 EBIT to NZ$650-665m vs prior guidance of NZ$610-660m; announce on market buyback for up to NZ$300m. FBU says it is continuing to make material progress on executing strategy, seeing trading conditions in the second half of FY21 largely consistent with the first. Despite some supply chain constraints and input cost pressures, FBE claims to see good margin performance from the business. Forward indicators for market activity are pointing to ongoing robust volumes in New Zealand and Australia, with businesses focused on delivering above-market growth and improved profitability in this environment.
  • Northern Star Resources (NST) +2.56% Reaffirms production guidance at KCGM site visit presentation. NST says they are on track to achieve FY21 production of 440-480koz at AISC $1,470-1,570/oz. Outlook: Production is expected to rise to over 675Kozpa by FY28, with the multi-year capital expenditure guidance to be updated and provided at annual strategy day in late Jul-21.
  • AMA Group (AMA) +10.48% Provides market update; Vehicle volumes are near pre-Covid levels and expected to improve further into FY22. AMA continues to benefit from increased use of private vehicles compared to public transport and an increase in domestic drive holidays. Management update: Andrew Mair appointed as Chief Commercial Officer effective 1-Jun. AMA has entered into litigation with former CEO and former executives to recover unauthorized expenses incurred and protect group assets.
  • Australian Ethical Investment (AEF) –0.10% Expects full-year underlying profit between $8.8-$9.3m vs $7m in FY20. Reports funds under management of $5.68bn in April vs $5.41bn in March.
  • ALS (ALQ) +12.84% Reports underlying profit $185.9m vs consensus $176.8m. Revenue was $1.76bn, ahead of consensus $1.77bn. Underlying EBIT similarly beat expectations, at a value of $301.4m vs consensus $293.1m. Final dividend 14.6c/share. Trading update: Life Sciences branch remains resilient, with volumes improving across the majority of the division in early Q1 22. Strong momentum in commodities from second half has continued into early quarter one as major and junior miners continue to increase sample flow across all regions. Industrial: Asset Care trading environment remains challenging as maintenance budgets are yet to recover in end markets. Tribology seeing solid momentum in early Q1 22 as client activity increases.

ECONOMIC NEWS

  • The seasonally adjusted estimate for total construction work done rose 2.4% to $51,975.9m in the March quarter.
  • Building work done rose 2.5% to $30,191.8m.
  • Engineering work done rose 2.2% to $21,784.1m.
  • RBNZ keeps rates on hold. Predicts cash rate will rise in second half of 2022.
  • The CEO of the Future Fund has warned of a potential significant increase in inflation being a risk for financial markets and that rising interest rates would make it difficult to generate investment returns.

BOND MARKETS

CV19 NEWS

  • Vaccine Tracker: 1.71m doses in 176 countries. 28.9m doses a day. In the US 288m doses, 1.75m a day.
  • In Australia, 72,471 doses a day. 16 months to cover 75% of the population.

ASIAN NEWS

  • Japan will begin vaccinating its Olympic athletes from June 1. Latest call to cancel Olympics now coming from Japanese newspaper.

US AND EUROPEAN HEADLINES

  • European markets looking to open slightly firmer.
  • Crypto bouncing back heading to US$40,000.
  • Putin and Biden to hold summit in June.
  • US has renewed calls for CV19 origin investigation.

And finally…

What do Alexander the Great and Winnie the Pooh have in common? Same middle name.

What’s the opposite of irony? Wrinkly.

When you die, what part of the body dies last? The pupils…they dilate.

A bear walks into a restaurant. He tells his waiter, “I want a grilled…cheese.” The waiter says, “What’s with the pause?” “Whaddya mean?” the bear replies. “I’m a bear!”

Clarence

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