ASX 200 fell 96 points to 6899 (-1.4%) after a mid-morning rally fizzled out and reversed, closing on lows for the day as US and European futures gave back early ground. All eyes on the European opening. Gold was the only sector in the green with NST up 8.5% and a NCM up 6.0% with second liners doing well, EVN up 10.1% and GMD up 8.0%. Bullion easing back a little from record AUD highs. Iron ore stocks under pressure as Chinese authorities warn again on price gouging and hoarding. BHP down 1.0% and RIO off 0.7%. Lithium stocks melted with PLS falling 5.2% and LTR down 9.4% with LYC off another 5.5%. Energy stocks also under pressure with WDS off 2.9% and STO galling 2.7% and coal stocks hit hard, WHC off 4.6%. Industrials were weaker across the board with WOW down 2.7%, CSL down 0.8% and REITs off big time on CS worries on property exposure. GMG off 2.9% and CHC falling 4.8%. Banks which tried hard to hold up, threw in the towel with CBA down 0.5% and ANZ off 1.4%. MQG dropped hard on contagion woes, down 4.6%. MFG fell 5.1% and SUN off 4.5% with the insurance sector crumbling as QBE fell 4.7%. Insurers under pressure on potential bond exposure. The Big Bank Basket down to $167.55 (-0.7%). In corporate news, RMS bid for BRB in a share deal, ACL announced a deal to merge with HLS and LFS still assessing the ongoing cyberattack. Asian markets slid with HK the focal point down 2.6%. 10-year yields falling back to earth down to 3.26%. Dow futures down 52 points. NASDAQ futures up 11 points.
- Winners: TIE, GOR, RSG, EVN, PRU, DEG, BGL, NST, HLS
- Losers: AGY, NVX, LTR, DGL, CXL, WBT, CTT, A2M, SYA
- Positive sectors: Gold miners. Telcos.
- Negative sectors: REITs. Industrials. Banks. Insurers. Lithium. Tech.
- High 6988 Low 6895
- Big Bank Basket up to $167.55 down 0.7%
- All-Tech index: Down 1.2%
- Gold off all-time highs – $2951
- Bitcoin: Off highs at US$27351
- Aussie Dollar: Slips to 66.89c
- 10-Year Yield: Falls to 3.25%.
- Asian markets: Better with Japan down 1.0%, China up 0.1% and HK down 2.6%.
- US Futures: Dow down 52 Nasdaq up 11
- EVN +10.08% GOR +10.96% RSG +10.29%
- INR +7.55% written up in media.
- DEG +9.00% finally starting to move higher.
- HLS +8.27% ACL merger proposal.
- VHM +15.94% broker write up.
- SBM +15.79% GMD +8.02% the dogs are barking.
- AGY -15.32% big drop.
- NVX -9.82% battery technology falling.
- LTR -9.39% lithium under pressure.
- BCB -3.51% coal stocks down.
- WBT -7.41% profit taking.
- NEU -5.52% gravity taking over.
- LYC -5.47% slip sliding away.
- WR1 -10.39% lithium under pressure.
- PMT -8.47% slipping lower.
- Speculative Stock of the Day: BRB +29.31% on RMS scheme of arrangement. 1 RNS for 2.82 BRB.
- Ramelius (RMS) – Makes recommended takeover offer for Breaker Resources (BRB) with an implied offer price of $0.403 per share. The offer is conditional upon achieving more than 50.1% acceptance. 1 RMS for every 2.82 BRB.
- Qantas (QAN) and Alliance Aviation (AQZ) – The ACCC has delayed the review of Qantas-Alliance Aviation Services’ proposed scheme of the arrangement until April 20.
- A2 Milk (A2M) Completes its $NZ150m share buyback program, acquiring 2.9% of its issued capital. The average price for the purchases was $NZ6.87 per share.
- Australian Clinical Labs (ACL) has proposed an all-scrip merger with Healius (HLS), offering one of its shares for every HLS share. Upon completion, HLS shareholders would own 68% of the combined group, and ACL shareholders would own 32%.
- Estia Health (EHE) Has approved an on-market share buyback of up to 10% of its issued capital over the next 12 months. No price was given.
- Latitude Financial (LFS) – a “sophisticated, well-organised and malicious cyberattack” remains active inside its systems.
ECONOMICS & OTHER NEWS
- Citi says the surge in iron ore prices is unsustainable and recommends that investors sell into further rallies.
- Former Governor Robert Alan Johnston AC died on 20 March 2023, aged 98. He was Governor of the Reserve Bank from 1982 to 1989.
- RBA assistant Governor Christopher (Clarke) Kent gave a speech today. Here is the link. There is even audio. The title was a racy one, Long and Variable Monetary Policy Lags.
- HSBC led declines among financial stocks listed in Hong Kong as worries over risky bond exposures related to Credit Suisse Group AG spurred further risk-off sentiment. HSBC down around 6% as were Standard Chartered.
- The Bank of Japan indicated a cautious stance toward pivoting from massive easing before achieving its inflation target. New BoJ chief Ueda’s first policy meeting is scheduled April 27-28.
US AND EUROPEAN HEADLINES
- All eyes on European banks and the AT1 bond fallout. Seems they rank behind equity holders. Saudi National Bank will not be happy.
- FDIC announces agreement to sell Signature Bank assets to New York Community Bancorp subsidiary. the deal would see the subsidiary, Flagstar Bank, assume substantially all of Signature Bank’s deposits, some of its loan portfolios and all 40 of its former branches. Roughly $60bn of Signature Bank’s loans and $4bn of its deposits would remain with it in receivership.
- Economists think Fed will keep raising rates despite bank turmoil.
An old hillbilly farmer had a wife who nagged him unmercifully. From morning till night (and sometimes later), she was always complaining about something. The only time he got any relief was when he was out plowing with his old mule. He tried to plow a lot.
One day, when he was out plowing, his wife brought him lunch in the field. He drove the old mule into the shade, sat down on a stump, and began to eat his lunch.
Immediately, his wife began haranguing him again. Complain, nag, nag; it just went on and on. All of a sudden, the old mule lashed out with both hind feet; caught her smack in the back of the head. Killed her dead on the spot. At the funeral several days later, the minister noticed something rather odd. When a woman mourner would approach the old farmer, he would listen for a minute, then nod his head in agreement; but when a man mourner approached him, he would listen for a minute, then shake his head in disagreement. This was so consistent, the minister decided to ask the old farmer about it.
So after the funeral, the minister spoke to the old farmer and asked him why he nodded his head and agreed with the women, but always shook his head and disagreed with all the men.
The old farmer said: “Well, the women would come up and say something about how nice my wife looked, or how pretty her dress was, so I’d nod my head in agreement.”
“And what about the men?” the minister asked. “They wanted to know if the mule was for sale