The ASX 200 finished flat up 7 point at 7485 after an early spurt was derailed by Chinese CPI numbers combined with 10-year yields heading above 3%. Resources were the swing as BHP turned down losing 0.5% with FMG off 2.9% as iron ore in Asia slipped. Gold miners held up as NCM rose 2.1% and NST up 3.9%. Energy stocks mixed, WPL down 1.0% and STO better by 0.8% with some profit taking in coal stocks. YAL fell 5.6%. Lithium stocks were in demand early on Musk news, but gains became more selective as the session wore on. LKE up 7.0% on a deal with Ford, Macquarie upgraded the sector again, but PLS failed to be inspired down 3.8%, MIN lost 3.3% more on iron ore, IGO rose 2.3% on its agreed deal with WSA that rose 5.5%. Banks were firm as always ahead of results and the 10-year yields burst above 3%. The Big Bank Basket rose to $191.78 (1.2%). MQG slid 0.9% and QBE enjoyed the rising yields up 1.8%. Industrials went sideways with some wins in COL and WOW as defensive inflation plays. Healthcare eased and tech slipped slightly with CPU up 0.7% and NXT down 2.5%. SQ2 down 2.3% and the AllTech Index falling 0.6%. In corporate news, BSL made an acquisition of Coil Coatings for US$500m.  PLS updated the market on its POSCO JV falling 3.8%. Nothing on the economic front but Chinese PPI and CPI surging squished the rally both here and in China. Asian markets weaker across the board. China down 2.4% and HK off 2.5%.

MAJOR MOVERS:

  • Winners: CXL, LKE, GNC, APM, MLX, GRR, MGX, WSA
  • Losers: ARU, AEF, WBT, AVZ, ASM, YAL, GLN
  • Positive sectors: Banks. Supermarkets. Gold miners.
  • Negative sectors: Big miners. Healthcare.
  • Hi 7525 Lo 7471. Narrow range.
  • Big Bank Basket: Up to $191.78. Solid 1.2% rise.
  • All-Tech index: Down 0.6%
  • Gold: Better at $2609
  • Bitcoin: Down to US$42180
  • Aussie Dollar: Steady at 74.46c 10-YEAR YIELD: Better at 3.01%.
  • In Asian trade, Japan down 0.8%, China down 2.4% and HK off 2.5%
  • US Futures: Dow down 110 Nasdaq down 72

STOCKS ON THE MOVE

  • LKE +6.99% signs deal with Ford.
  • GNC +6.75% broker upgrades.
  • WSA +5.48% IGO ups bid.
  • CXL +7.46% running hot.
  • MGX +5.74% GRR +5.79% iron ore plays.
  • RED +3.90% KOTH progresses.
  • AIZ +4.03% cabin doors to cross check.
  • BCB +8.77% coal mining commenced at Bluff.
  • NRZ +7.50% rally continues.
  • RAP +22.22% Pfizer bids 11.5c.
  • PDN -3.87% suspension of two state-owned Russian refiners
  • AEF -7.21% slip continues.
  • WBT -5.90% tech losing lustre.
  • AGY -4.00% profit taking.
  • NXM -17.24% deep diamond drilling disappoints.
  • NVA -10.53% sells Snow Lake and now fully funded for Mt Gox.
  • Speculative stock of the Day: 4DS +44.12% technical update. Successful elimination of etch residue.

IN THE NEWS

  • JB Hi-Fi (JBH) completes $250m off-market buyback, bought back 5.5m shares at $52.39.
  • Lake Resources (LKE) Lake Resources says it has signed a non-binding agreement with Ford Motor Company for delivery of about 25,000 tonnes of lithium per year from its Kachi lithium brine project in Argentina.
  • Brickworks (BKW) and Lion Selection Group (LSX) are ex-dividend today.
  • Virtus (VRT) has backed an improved takeover offer from UK private equity group CapVest worth 815c adjusted for dividend payments.
  • Worley (WOR) to appeal Full Federal Court class action judgement.
  • Gold Road Resources (GOR) repeats CY22 production guidance at investor presentation of 150-170Koz at an ASIC of $1,270-1,470/oz.
  • Independence Group (IGO) lifted its takeover bid for the gold and nickel miner Western Areas (WSA) by 15.2% from 336c to 387c.
  • Pfizer has made a $100m bid for ResApp (RAP). The bid is at a 27.8%premium to Friday’s closing price at 11.5¢ per share.
  • Bluescope Steel (BSL) a deal to buy metal painter Coil Coatings for $US500m($671m). The purchase is on around 8.9 times 2021 pro-forma EBITDA of $US56m and will be fully funded by cash reserves.

ECONOMIC NEWS/ BOND MARKETS

Quick Aide Memoire for Albo (might be worth learning this stuff)

  • The Budget projects that the Commonwealth government’s gross debt will be around $963bn at 30 June 2022. This is around 45.1% of GDP. It is projected to increase to $1.199bn,around 50% of GDP, by 30 June 2025.

Latest odds reflect Albo stumble. Only six weeks to go.

ASIAN MARKETS

  • Chinese inflation data was hotter than expected at 1.5% over the year vs 1.4% expected.
  • Producer prices rose 8.3% year on year, above the 8.1% expected.

US AND EUROPEAN NEWS

  • Europe facing early losess according to futures, following Asia lower.
  • UK Feb Industrial Output down 0.6% M/M v 0.7% up previously. Feb GDP up 0.1% M/M v 0.8% in January. Feb manufacturing output down 0.4% M/M v 0.8% up.
  • French elections now see Le Pen and Macron run off later this month. Low turnout of below 65%. No incumbent has won a second term in the last twenty years in France. Macron got around 28% of the vote compared with about 24% for Le Pen. Will be close.
  • The invasion of Ukraine will cause that country’s economy to contract by 45.1% according to the World Bank. Russia’s economy will fall by 11%.
  • EU still arguing over Russian oil ban. Hungary one of the hold outs.
  • Musk decides not to join Twitter board.

And finally…..

Clarence

XXX