ASX 200 fell hard again today from the off down 100 points to 7009 (1.4%) at the close. Well off the lows as some sensibility returned and bond yields stabilised. Banks were the target but insurers too under severe pressure. QBE down 3.7%, and SUN off 3.6%. The Big Bank Basket fell to $167.83 (0.4%) with NAB, the big bad bank off 1.5%. Regional banks in trouble, BEN down 1.6% and BOQ off 2.3%. MQG slumped 3.1%, with fund managers under serious pressure. PPT off 7.0% and MFG falling 6.0% with CGF down 5.6% as yields tumbled. Industrials slid with CSL falling 1.5% and WES off 1.3% with REITS easing and old skool tech down, SEK down 2.5% and CAR off 2.3%. Tech stocks down again, WTC off 2.3% and XRO falling 1.5% with CPU falling hard as yields fell off 7.7%. The AllTech Index dropped 2.5%. Resources were up against the wall, BHP fell 1.8% with FMG and RIO falling a similar amount. Lithium stocks were taken out behind the woodshed and chopped up, PLS down 5.9%, IGO off 3.2%, and MIN falling 3.8%. Energy stocks fell, with WDS off 2.8% and STO off 1.8%. Coal stocks in a bunker, WHC falling 5.3% as YAL crashed 16.9% on news of a China listing. Gold miners were the only bright spot with NCM up 3.0% and NST up 1.4%. Hardly a gold rush, more a stroll. In corporate news, KLS in a trading halt as it locks down a capital raise, SZL square on a US listing, and PPK buys a battery tech company. On the economic front, bond market turmoil still. Black Monday in the bond market still reverberates with US CPI ahead tonight. Plenty of surveys out today. Consumers are not happy Jan. Asian markets weaker, and 10-year yields are down to 3.42%. Dow futures up 141 points, and Nasdaq futures up 57 points. 


  • Winners: NEU, RMS, PRU, SLR, GOR, OMH, NCM
  • Losers: YAL, WBT, GRR, RNU, LKE, NVX, BRN
  • Positive sectors: Gold miners.
  • Negative sectors: Everything else.
  • High 7094 Low 6951 Big dip but holding for now.
  • Big Bank Basket: Falls to $167.83 down 0.4%
  • All-Tech index: Down 2.5%
  • Gold pushing ahead to $2864.
  • Bitcoin: Rallies to US$24487.
  • Aussie Dollar: Eases to 66.40c.
  • 10-Year Yield: Falls to 3.42%.
  • Asian markets: mixed, Japan down 2.7% and HK down 1.9% with China down 0.9%.
  • US Futures: Dow up 141 Nasdaq up 57
  • European markets set to open higher.


  • NEU +9.68% kicks again.
  • RMS +5.83% SLR +3.77% gold rush.
  • ASO +5.0% pretty thin volume.
  • WBT -9.61% profit taking continues after retail presentation.
  • YAL -16.91% to trade in China vis Stock Connect.
  • GRR -8.99% iron ore falls.
  • WR1 -13.84% lithium woes.
  • PSC -17.78% not so great after all.
  • CPU -7.71% yield falls hurt outlook.
  • LKE -8.47% becoming a substantial holder.
  • BCB -3.51% coal stocks on the nose.
  • PPT -6.96% fund manager fall out.
  • SPECULATIVE STOCK OF THE DAY: Unsurprisingly nothing on any volume. Let’s not trouble the keeper with that delivery.


  • Pushpay Holdings (PPH) – Pegasus Bidco’s buyout offer for has been extended until March 15th as the consortium failed to gather sufficient shareholder votes. The bidder requested more time to explore the possibility of reaching an alternative proposal.
  • Talon Energy (TPD) – and Strike Energy (STX)-Walyering gas project has received multiple key regulatory approvals, with the pipeline license approved for construction and the safety case expected in the coming weeks. TPD also announced a $2m share purchase plan at 14.5c per share.
  • Newcrest Mining (NCM) and Newmont Corp have agreed on terms for early-stage takeover talks, which may lead to a potential $20bn deal. The talks are expected to address Newcrest’s reasons for rejecting Newmont’s previous $22.4bn takeover offer and explore what kind of price the company and its board would consider.
  • Liontown Resources Limited (LTR) – During the half-year, LTR reported significant progress was made across all areas of development for the Kathleen Valley Lithium Project. The project remains on track for its first production in mid-2024, with major permits and works approvals received and contracts awarded for early site works.
  • PPK Group (PPK) – buying a large stake in privately owned lithium battery manufacturer PowerPlus Energy. PPK will initially pay $1.8m to acquire a 33% interest under a share purchase agreement, with a plan to increase it to as high as 75% within two years for an additional $2.8m.


Survey Day Today:

  • Business confidence fell 10pts to minus 4 in February, a National Australia Bank Ltd. survey showed.
  • The Westpac Melbourne Institute Consumer Sentiment Index remained at 78.5 in March, marking the second consecutive month of extremely weak consumer sentiment. The RBA’s 0.25% rate hike weighed on confidence, but consumers may become less negative as fears of a more threatening interest rate outlook ease. The ‘economic outlook, next 12 months’ sub-index declined 2.3% to 73.3, the weakest read since August 2020. Overall, consumer sentiment holds near 30-year lows.
  • According to the ANZ- Roy Morgan Poll – Consumer confidence dropped 2.9pts last week to 77.0, its weakest result since early April 2020. Confidence declined across all mainland states. ‘Weekly inflation expectations’ climbed 0.5ppt to 5.7%.


  • China’s economic recovery is strengthening in the aftermath of Covid restrictions and outbreaks, with official data on Wednesday to show.
  • Economists expect retail sales to have grown 3.5% in January-February from the same period a year earlier.
  • North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles Tuesday toward waters off its east coast after threatening the US to turn the Pacific Ocean into a “firing range”.


  • European markets set to open slightly higher.
  • US CPI is expected to have risen by 0.4% in February, or at a 6% annual pace, according to economists. That’s compared to increases of 0.5% and 6.4%, respectively, in January.
  • Core inflation, excluding food and energy, is expected to be higher by 0.4% and the annual pace is expected to be 5.5%.
  • Biden to visit Ireland on anniversary of Good Friday Agreement.
  • Pfizer to buy oncology-focused biotech Seagen for US$43bn.
  • VW picks Canada for battery plant after being lured by US green incentives.

And finally….

Murphy, a furniture dealer from Dublin, decided to expand the line of furniture in his store, so he decided to go to Paris to see what he could find .    

After arriving in Paris , he visited with some manufacturers and selected a line that he thought would sell well back home.

To celebrate the new acquisition, he decided to visit a small bistro and have a glass of wine. As he sat enjoying his wine, he noticed that the small place was quite crowded, and that the other chair at his table was the only vacant seat in the house.

Before long, a very beautiful young Parisian girl came to his table , Asked him something in French (which Murphy could n o t understand) , so he motioned to the vacant chair and invited her to sit down.  

He tried to speak to her in English, but she did not speak his language.

After a couple of minutes of trying to communicate with her, he took a napkin and drew a picture of a wine glass and showed it to her. She nodded, so he ordered a glass of wine for her. After sitting together at the table for a while, he took another napkin, and drew a picture of a plate with food on it, and she nodded.

They left the bistro and found a quiet cafe that featured a small group playing romantic music.    

They ordered dinner, after which he took another napkin and drew a picture of a couple dancing. She nodded, and they got up to dance.

They danced until the cafe closed and the band was packing up. Back at their table, the young lady took a napkin and drew a picture of a four-poster bed.  

To this day, Murphy has no idea how she figured out he was in the furniture business.