The ASX 200 put on another 44 points to 7294 (+0.6%). Big jump on the 4.10 pm match out with banks turning positive as potential ASX Index rebalancing gave us a nudge, 3.2% for the week. Today was all about a resource bounce with BHP up 1.3%, RIO up 1.6% and FMG up 2.2%. Base metals up S32 better by 1.5%, Lithium and rare earths kicking higher too with LYC up 3.7% and LTR up 7.8%. Gold miners missed out as AUD pushing up towards 74c. NCM down 0.8% but some gains elsewhere with DEG up 1.2%. Energy stock better as crude prices rallied another 2% plus in Asia. STO up 1.9% and YAL up 3.9%. Banks flat with the Big Bank Basket up to $188.74 (+0.1%) though MQG up 1.7%. MFG kicked again up 2.5%. Industrials steady, travel stocks down with FLT down 2.6%, WEB off 1.05% and QAN down 0.4%. Healthcare staged a late rally with CSL up 0.1%, SHL up 1.2% and RMD off 0.2%. Tech was in demand but maybe some caution ahead of the weekend. WTC up 3.3%, SQ2 up 7.2% and Z1P up 1.6%. Nothing really on the corporate front, except SGR falling 3.6% on the inquiry into its casino licence in Sydney. Nothing much on economic data either. Asia gave back some gains with HK down 2.4% China down 0.2% and Japan up 0.4%. 10-year yields pushing higher to 2.56%.

End of Day Podcast – Friday, March 18

Major Movers:

  • Winners: SMR, LKE, LTR, INR, CRN, AVZ, IMD, HMC, LTR
  • Losers: QAL, MP1, MAY, BOE, JDO, MSB, 5EA RMC
  • Positive sectors: Iron ore. Base metals. Lithium. Oil. Tech
  • Negative sectors: Travel. Staples
  • High 7294 Low 7246 ASX 200 up 3.2% for the week.
  • Big Bank Basket: Steady at $188.74 on late charge.
  • All-Tech index: Up 0.5%
  • Gold: Lower at $2623
  • Brent up 2.4% in Asia.
  • Bitcoin: Lower at US$40554
  • Aussie Dollar:  Rises to 73.78c
  • 10-Year Yield: Kicks to 2.56%.
  • Asian markets mixed HK down 2.4% China down 0.2% and Japan up 0.4%
  • US Futures: Dow down 178 – Nasdaq down 121

Stocks on the Move

  • SMR +11.89% change in substantial holding.
  • NMT +5.97% battery tech back.
  • INR +9.38% recent presentation brings buyers.
  • SQ2 +7.23% US tech bounce.
  • GL1 +11.05% MIN on board as strategic cornerstone investor.
  • MP1 -8.06% Bevan sells 3m at 1305c.
  • BOE -6.61% successful $120m equity raising.
  • 5EA -4.64% executes boron research agreement on magnets.
  • SGR -3.63% Sydney licence inquiry.
  • Speculative stock of the Day: Megasco (MEL) +37.93% Rig mobilisation to Cervantes -1.

In the News

  • ACCC to leave Qube (QUB) alone after its Newcastle Agri buy.
  • QBE Insurance (QBE) management changes.
  • Abacus Property Group (ABP) completed $200m placement at 338c and a $15m SPP to follow.
  • Federal Court of Australia approves scheme of arrangement takeover of Senex Energy (SXY) by Posco.
  • Paradigm Biopharmaceuticals (PAR) has initiated Phase 3 clinical trials for its knee osteoarthritis treatment in the US.
  • The ACCC is suing Facebook’s parent company Meta for publishing scam crypto ads on its platform that used photographs of leading Australians such as  Andrew Forrest and former NSW premier Mike Baird and Kochie to lure in victims.

Economic News/Bond Markets

Jobs in Tourism are coming back. In December quarter 2021, there were 628,900 tourism jobs. This was:

  • 75,100 (13.6%) more jobs than September quarter 2021
  • 200 (0.0%) more jobs than December quarter 2020
  • 1 in 23 (4.3%) filled jobs in the economy

Asian Markets

  • The BoJ left its interest rates and asset purchases unchanged. Inflation is starting to be an issue but after decades of zero rates and inflation, the BoJ will run a little hot. Key consumer prices rose 0.6% last month, according to a government report earlier Friday, as energy costs climbed at the fastest pace in 41 years.
  • A new daily record for Thailand, it reported 27,071 new Covid-19 cases on Friday.
  • President Xi Jinping has promised to reduce the economic impact of his Covid-fighting measures.
  • HK deaths are now higher than the mainland. Five districts in Shenzhen reopened.

US and European News

  • President Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping plan to speak in a call scheduled for Friday
  • Amazon has finalised its US$8.5bn acquisition of MGM the maker of 007.
  • Top US diplomat says Putin shows no sign of stopping.
  • JP Morgan has processed Russia’s bond interest payment. Hopefully ‘APPROVED’.
  • US mortgage rates hit 4% for the first time since 2018.
  • Deadline for bids for Chelski today. GBP3bn is the price.

Sanjay Thakrar, CEO at Euro Exim Bank Ltd, got economists thinking when he said: 

“A cyclist is a disaster for a country’s economy. 
He does not buy a car and does not take a car loan.
Does not buy car insurance.
Does not buy fuel.
Does not send his car for servicing and repairs.
Does not use paid parking.
Does not become obese.
Photo by Wolfram Bölte on Unsplash

Yes …and well, damn it! …healthy people are not needed for an economy.
They do not buy drugs.
They do not go to hospitals and doctors.
They add nothing to a country’s GDP.
On the contrary, every new McDonald’s outlet creates at least 30 jobs: 
10 cardiologists,
10 dentists,
10 weight-loss experts, apart from people working in McDonald’s outlets.
So, choose wisely: A bicycle or a Mcdonald’s? 
Walkers are even worse. 
Those people do not even buy a bicycle!