The ASX 200 rose 50 points (+0.7%) to 7515 for a seventh session with the market now edging further into positive for the calendar year. Risk was back on, helped by targeted spending measures in the Federal Budget aimed at reducing the cost of living and peace talk progress in Europe. Most sectors closed in positive territory. The All-Tech index was up 3.3% with Block (SQ2) up 7.3% and Xero (XRO) up 5.3%. Healthcare stocks were bid higher with CSL (CSL) up 1.6% and Nanosonics (NAN) improving 3.4%. The big bank basket finished at $191.83. Financials did well with Macquarie (MQG) and Magellan (MFG) both rising more than 2%. Miners and energy stocks eased with base metals, oil and iron ore all weaker. Woodside (WPL) off 1.5% and BHP (BHP) down 0.8%. Gold stocks eased as bullion slipped with Newcrest (NCM) down 0.5% and Northern Star (NST) steady. On the corporate front, Telstra’s (TLS) fell 0.8% after CEO Andy Penn announced his resignation. Star Entertainment (SGR) up 0.9%, confirmed a class action days after the resignation of CEO Matt Bekier. Uniti (UWL) down 1.3%, was upgraded by Ord Minnett. Brokers were neutral on Sigma Healthcare (SIG) up 3.4%, following results that highlighted expectations for a return to profit in FY23. Fortescue (FMG) up 0.2%, clarified its $50bn hydrogen investment comments saying it was a ‘high-level assessment’ not an official investment decision. Eagers Automotive (APE) up 3.2%, said it was acquiring car dealership WFM motors for $205m.  Charter Hall Long WALE (CLW) up 1.2%, and HomeCo Daily Needs (HDN) off 0.7%, traded ex-dividend. Nothing exciting on the economic front. Government handouts from the budget led to calls for more aggressive monetary policy from the RBA. Interbank futures now suggest seven rate hikes this year from the RBA. The US has revised GDP data tonight. Dow Futures down 62.

End of Day Podcast – Wednesday, March 30

Major Movers:

  • Winners: 360, DMP, MFG, OFX, MP1, SQ2, URW
  • Losers: 88E, IHL, SMR, TLX, JRV, OPL, HM1
  • Positive sectors: Almost everything
  • Negative sectors: Gold. Materials. Energy 
  • High 7533 Low 7464
  • Big Bank Basket: up to $191.83 
  • All-Tech index: up 3.27%
  • Gold: $2559.54
  • Bitcoin: US$47308.30
  • Aussie Dollar: 75.22c
  • 10-Year Yield: Down to 2.79%
  • Asian markets mixed, China up 1.4%, Japan off 2% and HK up 1.2%. 
  • US Futures: Dow Futures down 62

In the News

  • 88 Energy (88E)shares fell 64% in London after the Alaskan oil explorer warned shareholders of disappointing drilling results at its Merlin 2 well.
  • Telstra (TLS) CEO Andy Penn to retire, with current CFO, Vicki Brady to take over as CEO.
  • Star Entertainment (SGR) confirms class action days after the resignation of CEO Matt Bekier.
  • Carsales (CAR) MD to step down.
  • Fortescue (FMG) has clarified its $50bn hydrogen investment comments saying it was a ‘high-level assessment’ not an official investment decision.
  • Eagers Automotive (APE) to acquire car dealership WFM motors for $205m.
  • Charter Hall (CHC) is set to acquire REIT Irongate Group (IAP) at a price of 190c per share, with IAP holders to retain dividend entitlements for the period ended March 31.
  • Australia’s famous coastal hotspot Byron Bay is underwater, as torrential rain sparks a fresh wave of flooding in the northern regions of New South Wales
  • Australia is on the brink of finalising a free-trade agreement with India with an announcement possible in “coming days”

Economic News/Bond Markets

Asian News

  • Asia will become the ‘default market’ for Russian oil, Dan Yergin says
  • The Bank of Japan’s extraordinary bond market intervention this week has amped up the spotlight on its quarterly asset purchase plan due Thursday
  • Hong Kong’s home prices will decline about 20% during the next four years as a worsening economy and rising interest rates hit demand, according to Goldman analysts

US and European News

  • The US says Ukraine’s capital Kyiv remains under threat even after Russia promised to scale back military operations there
  • Prices in U.K. shops rose in March at the fastest annual pace since September 2011, adding to the cost-of-living squeeze facing consumers
  • The House overwhelmingly passed legislation that would expand the tax benefits for retirement accounts to bolster the savings of Americans.

And finally…

A man boarded an airplane and took his seat. As he settled in, he glanced up and saw the most beautiful woman boarding the plane. He soon realized She was heading straight towards his seat. As fate would have it, she took the seat right beside his:

Eager to strike up a conversation he blurted out. “Business trip or pleasure?”

She turned, smiled and said. “Business. I’m going to the Annual Nymphomaniacs of America Convention in Boston.”

He swallowed hard. Here was the most gorgeous woman he had ever seen Sitting next to him and she was going to a meeting of nymphomaniacs!

Struggling to maintain his composure, he calmly asked. “What’s your Business at this convention?”

“Lecturer.” She responded. “I use information that I have learned from my Personal experiences to debunk some of the popular myths about sexuality.”

“Really?” He said. “And what kind of myths are there?”

“Well.” She explained. “One popular myth is that African-American men are The most well-endowed of all men, when in fact it is the Native American Indian who is most likely to possess that trait. Another popular myth is That Frenchmen are the best lovers, when actually it is men of Mexican Descent who are the best. I have also discovered that the lover with Absolutely the best stamina is the Southern Redneck.”

Suddenly the woman became a little uncomfortable and blushed.. “I’m Sorry.” She said, “I shouldn’t really be discussing all of this with you. I don’t even know your name.”

“Tonto.” The man said. “Tonto Gonzales, but my friends call me Bubba.” ………..