A very narrow day of trade today, the ASX 200 finished up 14 points (+0.2%), with a range of only 40 points. Defensive stocks were the best place to be while resources weighed on the market. Iron ore miners struggled, BHP was down 1.5%, RIO was down 1.8%, and FMG fell 1.8%. S32 lost 5.2% on a Macquarie downgrade. Financials were better after some weakness yesterday. The Big Bank Basket was up 0.5% to $183.75. MQG joined in, up 1.1%. Healthcare shone brightly, with CSL up 1.4%, RMD up 1.5%, and FPH up 3.9%. Consumer staples were higher, with WOW up 2.1%, COL up 1.9%, and WES rising 2.5%. The travel sector enjoyed a nice rally on the back of some solid numbers from WEB, up 10.1%. Technology stocks pushed higher, the All-Tech Index was up xx%, with REA up 0.3%, XRO up 1.7%, and WTC climbing 1.3%. Energy stocks struggled, coal stocks in particular, fell hard, following a 5.3% fall in the coal price overnight. WHC down 6.3%, CRN down 3.8% and NHC down 6.5%. Lithium miners steadied the ship after suffering from some profit-taking in recent sessions. And gold stocks were a bit all over the shop, SFR the biggest loser, down 3.0%. In corporate news, the PDL/PPT deal in the courts with PDL up 10.5% as it lowered its takeover offer of PPT, down 12.6%. WEB flew up 10.1% on some well-received first-half results. In economic news, unemployment fell to 3.4% in October, down from 3.5% in September, with consensus for a 0.1% rise. The market was relatively unphased, the release paves the way for further RBA rate rises. Asian markets are mixed. Dow Futures are up 21 points.
- Winners: PDL, WEB, SDR, TER, A4N, RNU, TPW, BGL
- Losers: PPT, NHC, WHC, PDN, DGL, STX, S32, BOE
- Positive sectors: Banks. Healthcare. Industrials. REITS. Tech.
- Negative sectors: Iron ore. Energy. Coal.
- High 7147 Low 7107 Narrow trading range.
- Big Bank Basket: Closed up at $183.75 (+0.5%) WBC ex dividend.
- Jobs numbers better than expected at 3.4%
- All-Tech index: Up 1.2%
- Gold steady at $2627.
- Bitcoin: Slipping to US$16,477
- Aussie Dollar: Drifts to 67.07c
- 10-Year Yield: Lower at 3.62%
- Asian markets: Japan down 0.4% HK down 2.3% and China down 1.4%.
- US Futures: Dow up 29, Nasdaq up 26
- European markets opening slightly better. UK budget awaits.
- PDL +10.54% PPT -12.63% revised merger terms.
- SDR +9.9% travel boost from WEB results.
- TER +8.93% dividend declaration.
- DEG +3.80% gold bounce in places.
- AGY +3.82% selected lithium stocks rising.
- WR1 +33.71% kicking higher again – new lithium player in town.
- BGL +4.05% results of AGM.
- EEG +21.05% longest ever Beetaloo well drilled.
- LIN +14.29% Kangankunde drill program report
- WHC -6.31% NHC -6.50% coal sector sell-off.
- PDN -5.88% AGM’s address.
- CXO -4.71% hot air leaving.
- E25 -19.16% successful placement
- ASX -0.18% kills Blockchain project. Will save a fortune. Derecognised $250m
- AAC -4.96% HY results.
- AVH -6.67% webinar heads up.
- Speculative Stock of the Day: Victory Goldfields (1VG) +27.91% follow-up drilling to commence. Previous SSOTD.
IN THE NEWS
- Altium (ALU) – Provided an update at its AGM today. The group is on track for its FY revenue of $255-265m, with an underlying EBITDA margin of 35-37%.
- Seven Group Holdings (SVW) – Provided an update on the FY23 outlook at its AM this morning. The group expects low-teen underlying EBIT growth in both WesTrac and Coates. Volumes and pricing should support stronger revenue in FY23 for Boral. Beach Energy production guidance is unchanged, with Thylacine wells expected to be online by mid-2023. SWM is expected to have the #1 total TV position in the first quarter of FY23, increasing market share in the second quarter. Group FY guidance was maintained, expecting high single-digit to low double-digit underlying EBIT growth in FY23.
- SEEK Limited (SEK) – Provided a trading update at its AGM. Low unemployment and high candidate engagement continue to create positive market conditions. SEEK Asia revenue is tracking slightly ahead of expectations. Costs are tracking inline with expectations. FY guidance was reaffirmed.
- Johns Lyng Group (JLG) – Reaffirmed FY guidance at its AGM and provided some upbeat outlook commentary. The statement included comments that “business is flying”, “during Q1 we have outstanding growth in…IBR&S and Strata”, and “the recovery and reconstruction work associated [with recent east coast storms] has only just commenced and could be expected to last longer than 12 months.”
- Perpetual (PPT) – Perpetual amends consideration for Pendal Group takeover offer to 1 perpetual share for every 7 Pendal shares plus $1.65/sh, equating to $6.16 per Pendal share. The Pendal board unanimously support the proposal.
- Australian Agricultural Company Limited (AAC) – Australian Agricultural Company Limited has reported first-half profit of $51.6m, down from last year’s $83.2m.
- Webjet (WEB) – First half results this morning. Year-on-year revenue was up 185% from $32.6m to $114.4m, swinging a statutory profit of $4.0m vs a $60.0m loss last year. A good indication of the health of the travel sector, with revenue, total transaction value, and profit all beating consensus. Guidance for the second half of FY23 is for EBITDA to exceed pre-pandemic levels by at least $10.0m, with bookings expected to exceed pre-pandemic levels materially. The group also noted profitability is tracking ahead of pre-pandemic levels and expects FY24 underlying earnings to exceed pre-pandemic levels.
- ASX – will ‘derecognise’ $250m in costs associated with the disastrous CHESS replacement project, which has dragged on for seven years, and is now officially on ice.
- The unemployment rate in Australia decreased to 3.4% in October from 3.5% in September. The consensus was for 0.1% increase to 3.6%. Paving the way for the RBA to continue increasing interest rates.
- Unemployment rate decreased to 3.4%.
- Participation rate remained at 66.6%.
- Employment increased to 13,623,700.
- Employment to population ratio remained at 64.3%.
- Underemployment rate remained at 6.0%.
- Monthly hours worked increased to 1,864m.
- Chinese regulators asked banks to report on their ability to meet short-term obligations after a rapid selloff in bonds triggered a flood of investor withdrawals from fixed-income products.
- Political experts in Malaysia are predicting more drama at the country’s upcoming general election on Saturday, with no certainty of a clear winner, a potential return of long-time ruling party Barisan Nasional and a possible hung parliament.
- NetEase and Blizzard plan to end their 14-year partnership after January, depriving the Chinese firm of a slice of revenue and suspending service for some of the country’s most popular games.
US AND EUROPEAN HEADLINES
- UK Budget tonight. Should be fun. Tax up spending down. Let’s hope it goes down better than the last one.
- Republicans win back House.The war in Ukraine will be the “single most important negative factor” for the world economy this year, and likely the next, IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva told CNBC on Wednesday.
- The CEO of Microsoft is bullish about Asia as an investment market for data centers, as Microsoft plans to build more data centers around the world.
- The world’s No. 2 lithium producer SQM said it expects prices for the battery material to stay high into 2023, sales more than quadrupled in the third quarter from a year ago on the back of surging lithium prices.
- Scaramucci’s SkyBridge bought $10mn of FTX token in return for investment. Temasek writes down $275mn ‘misplaced’ FTX investment.