The ASX 200 closed up 27 points at 7244 (+0.4%). Good result considering US moves on Friday. Gold was the place to be today as the bullion price broke higher on Ukraine concerns. EVN rose 7.9%, NCM up 4.3% and NST up 5.9%. Lithium stocks tumbled as the white powder is losing its allure for now. PLS down 5.6% and MIN off 3.8%. Iron ore stocks also easier with BHP down 1.1% with results due tomorrow. Dalian futures slid hurting the sector. Energy stocks also in demand as oil pushing towards US$100. STO up 4.0%, WPL up 3.6% and BPT up 9.4% on results. Banks were the other winners today as CBA rose 1.5% and WBC the star up 4.8% as buyback completed. The Big Bank Basket rose to $182.55 (+2%). Healthcare in ICU as CSL fell 2.0% on US collection issues. FPH down 3.3% and COH down 0.7%. Industrials firm but unspectacular, TLS up 1.0%, WES up 2.0% with COL up 1.1%. Tech mixed, WTC up 1.2% and XRO down 1.5%. In corporate news, plenty of results, JBH up 5.4% on good online sales and buyback, CAR flat on its results and CWN up 2.0% as the board agrees to Blackstone bid. Nothing on the economic front today. A big week of results beckons. Asian markets ease on HK woes. Japan down 1.4%, China down 0.7% and HK off 1.2%.

Major Movers: 

  • Winners: FCL, BPT, RED, RRL, EVN, RMS, SLR, BGL
  • Losers: PPS, NVX, 88E, IMU, PNU, KED, INR.
  • Positive sectors: Banks. Gold. Energy,
  • Negative sectors: Iron Ore. Healthcare.
  • Oil up another 1.5% in Asian trade.
  • High 7264 Low 7182
  • Big Bank Basket: Rallies hard to $182.55 (+2%). WBC finishes buy back.
  • All-Tech index: Down 1.1%
  • Gold: Breaks higher to $2602 on Ukraine.
  • Bitcoin: Lower at US$41946
  • Aussie Dollar:  Slips to 71.18c
  • 10-Year Yield: Eases to 2.12%
  • Asian markets ease on HK woes. Japan down 1.4%, China down 0.7% and HK off 1.2%.
  • US Futures: Dow up 81 Nasdaq up 43.

Stocks on the Move

  • RED +8.77% gold rush.
  • WBC +4.83% completes $3.5bn off-market share buyback.
  • BPT +9.43% results cheer.
  • JBH +5.42% cuts dividend but all is well. Buyback announced.
  • EVN +7.90% DEG +5.33% SBM +6.88% gold price rise.
  • MAY +12.86% oil and gas play back in favour.
  • PEK +6.92% strategic shareholder takes 19.9% stake.
  • PPS -13.88% results disappoint.
  • NVX -10.75% battery tech and lithium on the nose.
  • KED -8.93% results disappoint.
  • INR -8.80% Buckwheat problems.
  • BET -8.09% bulls give up.
  • BOC -14.04% no more updates on Panguna.
  • RFT -14.10% profit taking.
  • Speculative stock of the Day: Canyon Resources (CAY) +19.32% No recent announcement. Modest volumes. Nothing else interesting.

In the News

  • Boral (BLD) first-half underlying profit $145m vs consensus $95.2m. Revenue $2.38bn vs consensus $2.30bn. No interim dividend, a $3bn return of surplus capital to shareholders was previously announced. Expects revenue in the 2H FY22 to be higher than the 1H FY22. Supply chain constraints and labour shortages that hit the 1H FY22 are expected to continue in the 2H FY22. Targeting FY2022 transformation benefits of ~$60-75m net of inflation.
  • Praemium (PPS) swings to a $2.6m loss from a $2.8m first-half profit last year. Well below consensus of a $3.1m profit. Noted record flows in the half. Added it is on track for full-year EBITDA guidance of $16.5m $18.5m on an underlying basis. Dividend policy expected to be introduced for FY2023 onwards.
  • GPT – revenue rose 720.6% to $1.97bn and net profit climbed 767.4% to $1.4bn. The profit result was supported by an increase in property valuations of $924.3m. GPT Group declared a final distribution of 9.9c.
  • JB Hi-Fi (JBH) first-half profit of $287.9m was in line with preliminary numbers announced in January. Launches $250m off-market share buy-back. Interim dividend of 163c, fully franked down 9%. No guidance for the full-year provided. Profit and revenue were both down over the year but that was largely expected given the pre-announced unaudited numbers.
  • Crown Resorts (CWN) – recommends shareholders accept Blackstone’s 1310c binding offer. Under the terms of the offer, Crown shareholders will receive 1310c a share, at a 32% premium to Crown’s closing price on November 18, 2021 when the offer was first made.
  • (CAR) first underlying profit up 20% to $88.7m and ahead of consensus of $86.2m. Revenue of $242.2m was up 22% vs consensus $227.1m. Interim dividend 25.5c up 2% vs a year ago but slightly behind consensus of 26.2c. Sees strong growth in revenue, EBITDA and profit (ex-acquisition) in FY22.
  • Bendigo & Adelaide Bank (BEN) first-half cash earnings up 18.7% to $260.7m and ahead of consensus of $239m. Net interest margin fell 14bps to 2.09% over the half. The fall is the biggest seen this reporting season but it should be mentioned it is the only bank with a NIM above 2%. Competition, lower-yielding liquid assets and shifting customer preference to lower margin loans were named as the culprits. Headline numbers were ahead of consensus forecasts. Interim dividend of 26.5c, fully franked up 12.7% on last year.
  • Beach Petroleum (BPT)net profits after tax 66% to $212.9m for the six months to the end of December.
  • Aurizon (AZJ) – revenue rose 1% to $1.5bn and EBITDA fell 2% to $726.9 million. Net profits slid 4% to $256.9m. Aurizon cut its interim dividend by 27% to 10.5¢ a share. Underlying EBITDA guidance for FY2022 for the group remains at $1.42bn to $1.5bn.
  • Ukulele sales soar on Nine PM interview.

Economic News/Bond Markets

  • Nothing today.

Winter Olympics

Asian Markets

  • Hong Kong CV19 rates climbing. Turns to China for help analysing virus strains and more kits.
  • India has banned 54 Chinese apps in a new order citing security concerns. Given that India and China share 3488km of shared borders where thousands of troops face off against each other, hoping for no new geopolitical flashpoints.

US and European News

  • Coinbase forced to put limits on post Super Bowl traffic. Crypto companies take top ad slots at match. Rams beat Bengals to win Super Bowl in 12 -hour thriller.
  • Scholz warns Putin of consequences of an invasion of Ukraine.
  • Saudi Arabia moves 4% of Aramco to sovereign wealth fund. Oil up 1.5% in Asian trade.
  • US- Canada Bridge reopens. No Barry Manilow songs needed.
  • Chelsea win World Club Championship.

And finally…