ASX 200 rallies 24 points to 7326 (0.3%) as iron ore bounces to $110 in Singapore. FMG leading the charge higher up 6.9%, BHP up 2.3% and second-liners CIA doing well up 2.2%. Lithium stocks a little on the nose with PLS down 5.1%, IGO off 4.9% and LTR falling 2.4%. Base metal stocks slightly firmer, S32 up 3.6%. Energy stocks firmed post-OPEC plus, WDS up 2.0% and STO up 2.7%, coal stocks a little weaker. Banks going nowhere in a hurry, the Big Bank Basket $186.49 (unchanged). Industrials firmed in quiet trade, TLS up 0.3%, WOW up 0.6% and ‘old skool’ platform stocks REA up 0.7% though CAR and SEK slipped slightly. REITs firm, GMG up 1.7% and healthcare slipping back slightly, CSL down 0.6% and RMD off %. Tech stocks eased back, WTC off 0.7% and CPU down 0.2%. The index falling 0.2%. In corporate news, WGO got another bid up 11.5%, with Gina and Kerry fighting it out. NEA takeover now approved by the court. MTS up 0.2% on higher earnings and a 9.5% increase in dividend. Nothing significant on the economic front ahead of the RBA tomorrow. Asian markets firm, HK up 3.5% and China kicking another 1.7%. Tokyo unchanged.10-year yields slip to 3.37%. Dow futures down 32 points. Nasdaq futures down 22 points.
- Winners: MGX, COE, FMG, SM1, BPT, RIO, MSB
- Losers: TYR, OBL, BLY, DEG, FCL, ARU, YAL
- Positive sectors: Iron ore. Oil and gas. REITs. Staples.
- Negative sectors: Lithium. Healthcare. Gold miners.
- High 7351 Low 7304
- Iron ore futures in Singapore gained another 2.3% to $US108.35 a tonne.
- Big Bank Basket: Closed down at $186.49(unchanged)
- All-Tech index: Down 0.2%
- Gold steady at $2643
- Bitcoin: Rises to US$17212
- Aussie Dollar: Better at 68.41c
- 10-Year Yield: Falls to 3.37%
- Asian markets: HK up 3.3% and China kicking another 1.5%. Tokyo unchanged.
- US Futures: Dow down 31 Nasdaq down 23.
- MGX +11.46% FMG +6.86% iron ore winners.
- ORR +19.05% big kick.
- INR +2.48% playing a little catch up.
- WDS +1.96% oil price rise.
- WGO +11.5% new bid at 28c.
- BET +16.67% bargain hunters abound.
- DEG -6.42% profit taking.
- TYR -7.58% disappointment with trading numbers. No news on takeover.
- OBL -7.38% buyback notification update.
- PLS -5.14% lithium depressed.
- ARU -5.68% cap raise weighs at 37c.
- RF1 -4.63% NTA falls.
- ELD -4.62% UBS downgrades.
- LLL -3.51% Investor webinar.
- MYX -12.50% signs new licence agreement for women’s health products.
- Speculative Stock of the Day: Not much popping up on the volume that’s for sure. Pancontinental (PCL) +23.08% extension to current term granted for a second one-year period and obligation waived for extended term for PEL 87. PCL is continuing with farmout negotiations.
IN THE NEWS
- Warrego Energy (WGO) – Says Hancock’s increased offer of 28c for its shares is the superior proposal compared to Beach Energy’s (BPT) offer of 25c plus net proceeds from the Spanish assets, if they are sold within 12 months. WGO has issued notice to BPT, giving it five days to match the offer.
- West African Resources (WAF) – Has made good progress on its Kiaka gold project. The first stage of debt financing has been completed, with WAF receiving interest from eight tier-one financiers for the debt of US$300m. Meanwhile, the EPCM contract has been awarded to Lycopodium and the grinding mill package to Metso Outec, with an order placed for the SAG and ball mills. WAF reaffirms 2022 guidance of 220-240koz gold at AISC less than US$1,100/oz.
- Arafura Rare Earths Ltd (ARU) – announced they have received firm commitments to raise approximately A$121m (before costs) under a placement of fully paid ordinary shares over two tranches. Funds raised are intended to be used to accelerate the Nolans Project development schedule. “The Nolans Project is well positioned to become a ground-breaking strategic development for Australia with its single site ore to oxide business model.” – Managing Director Gavin Lockyer. SPP to come at 37c to raise a further $12m.
- Australian Clinical Labs (ACL) – Has provided an update on a previously announced cybersecurity incident. Stating there has been no evidence of misuse of any of the information involved in the incident. The server that was compromised had been decommissioned and was no longer in use, and all customers who have been affected have now been contacted.
- IGO Limited (IGO) – Has announced they have begun production at Tianqi Lithium Energy Australia, with the capability to continuously produce battery-grade lithium hydroxide.
- Metcash (MTS) – Has released their FY23 Half year results detailing revenue of $7.65bn and an underlying NPAT of $153.3m. MTS stated that sale rates have moderated compared to very high levels of demand during COVID but continue to be driven by robust underlying demand. They have also commented that they are unsure how inflation will impact the business as the cost-of-living increases are sure to impact consumer spending. It was also announced that CFO Alistair Bell to retire.
- Healius (HLS) – The AFR has got a hold of an internal memo from HLS which states the company is going to launch a cost-cutting program with new hires to be suspended and corporate spending to be limited, this all coming in the wake of reduced revenue from the lack of covid testing.
- Nitro Software Limited (NTO) – Nitro Software Limited Board unanimously recommends that shareholders vote in favour for Alludo takeover offer and scheme arrangement at A$2.00 per share.
- Mayne Pharma Group Limited (MYX) – Mayne Pharma Group Limited has signed a license agreement with TherapeuticsMD, Inc. a NASDAQ-listed company (TXMD), for three branded women’s health products and a portfolio of prenatal vitamins in the US. The products’ net revenue in Q3 2022 was US$20.9m, and gross profit was US$17.1m, as reported by TherapeuticsMD. “The Products will be supported by our existing commercial capability across sales and marketing, customer service and medical affairs. Women’s health is a core therapeutic area for the Company, and this deal enables Mayne Pharma to accelerate and extend its position in this specialty” – CEO Shawn O’Brien.
- Imugene (IMU) – Has announced that the study to evaluate their cancer-killing virus has commenced with the aim to recruit 100 patients across trial sites in the US and Australia.
- Nearmap (NEA) – The Federal Court of Australia has approved Thomas Bravo’s acquisition of Nearmap.
- Mineral exploration expenditure fell by 1.5%
- Petroleum exploration expenditure fell by 5.5%
- Australia’s peak rate forecast at 3.6%, New Zealand sees 5.5%.
- Brisbane crypto exchange sacks 90 staff.
- ASX CHESS labelled a ‘profound failure’ by parliamentary committee.
- The onshore yuan surged more than 1% to 6.9678 per dollar, the strongest since Sept. 15.
- Chinese factories are shutting down two weeks earlier than usual ahead of Chinese New Year.
US AND EUROPEAN HEADLINES
- OPEC+ responded to surging volatility and growing market uncertainty by keeping its oil production unchanged.
- UK CBI warns that UK is about to fall into year-long recession.
- U.S. manufacturing orders in China are down 40% in what a one manager described to CNBC as an unrelenting demand collapse. China to U.S. container volume was down 21% between August and November.
- Ursula Von der Leyen promises EU help for companies lured by US green subsidies.