The ASX 200 meanders to a 10 points gain to close at 7365 (0.13%). Volumes are drying up as we head into Xmas. Banks under a little pressure in places with the Big Bank Basket unchanged at $176.62. MFG still under pressure, down 3.1% but volatility diminishes. CHC has taken out 50% of Paradice making valuations interesting. CHC down 7.5% on the news. REITs slipped lower as GPT down 1.3% and MGR down 0.7%. Healthcare mixed, CSL, a standout again, up 1.2% and EBO up 4.2% and RMD up 1.4%. Industrials mixed, WOW and COL eased around 0.7%, ALL rose 1.1%, DMP steadied, and travel stocks pushed higher FLT up 2.1% on Omicron news. Tech stocks better led by APT up 5.4% and XRO rallying 2% with the All–Tech Index up 2%. Big iron ore miners pulled back, RIO down 2.0% after a South American lithium acquisition, BHP off 0.8% and FMG falling 1.8%. Gold miners fell and lithium stocks saw gains after a broker upgrade on commodity prices. In corporate news, LNK had a bid at 550c rising 15.0%, CHC bought 50% of Paradise, no paving and STP fell 34.9% on a trading downdate. PPS rose 2.1% after selling its troubled international assets to Morningstar. Nothing on the economic front. Asia markets modestly weaker and 10-year yields back up to 1.60%.
- Winners: LNK, PLS. BWX, SDR, PXA, IHL, OCL, APT
- Losers: CHC, INR, ANN, CBO, KED, IFT, RRL
- Positive sectors: Healthcare. Tech. Lithium. Rare Earths
- Negative sectors: Iron ore. Gold Miners. REITs
- High 7375 Low 7333 Volume drying up
- Big Bank Basket: Rises to $176.62 (unchanged)
- All-Tech index Up 2.0%
- Gold: Slips to $2508
- Bitcoin: Slightly higher at US$49271
- Aussie Dollar: Steady at 71.23c
- 10-Year Yield: Slightly firmer at 1.60%
- Asian Markets: Japan down 0.1% Hong Kong up 0.3% and China down 0.1%
- US Futures: Dow futures down 23 Nasdaq down 44
Stocks on the Move
- LNK +15.03% bid from Dye and Durham at 550c. Last of the year?
- PLS +8.76% Macquarie upgrades lithium price.
- SDR +6.37% kicks despite Omicron.
- BWX +6.98% Xmas boost.
- PXA +6.03% LNK bid means Dye gets 43%..
- APT +5.41% Block rallies.
- LTR +4.04% lithium upgrades.
- ADO +10.00% tax refund. Awaiting TGA approvals for CV19 tests.
- WBT +12.89% first memory chips including embedded ReRAM module
- NXM +8.45% rethink on drill results.
- VMT +7.89% thin volume.
- CHC -7.54% No paradise by the dashboard light.
- INR -4.64% sinking again.
- DRR -3.23% iron ore weakness.
- STP -34.89% undies on the nose after trading update.
- KLL -16.13% commissioning issues.
- ANN -4.15% human rights issues.
- IPO of the Day Atturra (ATA) +24.00% trading update in listing. Another IT services provider.
- Speculative stock of the Day: Carnaby Resources (CNB) +40.91% another good day building on recent gains following spectacular copper results at Greater Duchess project.
In the News
- Link Group (LNK) agrees to acquisition by Dye & Durham at 550c. Dye & Durham will also indirectly acquire Link Group’s ~43% ownership stake in PEXA Group. The Link board has unanimously recommended that Link shareholders vote in favour of the scheme.
- Rio Tinto (RIO) to acquire the Rincon lithium project in Argentina for US$825m as it accelerates its move into battery materials. Rincon is a large undeveloped lithium brine project located in the heart of the lithium triangle in the Salta Province of Argentina
- Aventus Group (AVN) notes the ACCC does not intend to conduct a review on the merger with HomeCo Daily Needs REIT and Home Consortium.
- Nickel Mines (NIC) to acquire the Tablasufa nickel project in Indonesia with Bolt Metals for US$8.5m.
- FIRB approves Sydney Aviation Alliance’s proposed acquisition of Sydney Airport (SYD).
- Praemium (PPS) to sell its International Business to Morningstar for $65.1m.
- Ansell (ANN) is reportedly trying to distance itself from a supplier, Brightway. Operations were recently branded as ‘modern slavery’ by the Malaysian government following a raid.
- Charter Hall Group (CHC) acquires 50% in Paradice Investment Management for $207m in cash and scrip. Reaffirms FY guidance, operating EPS of no less than 105c.
- Canadian miner, Noront has reached a deal Wyloo Metals with Wyloo to acquire Noront for C$1.10. The consideration reflects a ~358% premium to the unaffected closing price on May 21, 2021 and a ~47% premium to BHP’s offer.
- Sydney Airport (SYD) – FIRB gives green light to takeover.
Economic News/Bond Markets
- The nice people at National Australia Bank have given some an early Xmas present, increasing its fixed interest mortgage rates for the second time in December on Wednesday, this time by up to 0.1%. It comes on top of an increase of 0.5% on December 2. Happy Xmas from the NAB team.
- Singapore will freeze new ticket sales for flights and bus trips under its vaccinated travel lanes for entry from Dec. 23 to Jan. 20.
- Thailand has halted its quarantine-free entry program after less than two months.
- Chinese technology shares listed in Hong Kong rose for a second day.
- Kuaishou Tech, Alibaba, and JD.com Inc. each gained at least 5.1% on short covering ahead of year end.
- Hang Seng trading lowest relative to global peers since 1998.
US and European News
- Putin has warned NATO of a military response if it continues its expansion.
- European energy prices still hitting records.
- Biden blames Omicron contagion for test shortages.
- Walmart, CVS and Walgreens will cap buyers of CV19 at home tests.
- Truck company Nikola pays US$125m to settle SEC Fraud charges.
- English court orders Dubai’s ruler to pay GBP 554m in divorce settlement.
- Israel heads for four jabs for limited groups.