ASX 200 closed down 32 points at 7330 (+0.4%) in quiet trade again. Down 31 points this week. It tried to recover from early losses but ahead of a potential long weekend, it struggled. Resources were mixed today as BHP reported its quarterly and iron ore slipped in Asia, the stock down 2.3%, RIO off 2.8% and FMG falling 4.2%. Lithium stocks finding some support after early losses, PLS up 3.3%, AKE up 1.0% and SYA better. LYC did well on its quarterly with record production, up 4.8%. Gold miners better as bullion pushed higher, EVN up 0.9% and BGL rallying 1.1%. Coal stocks back in favour with WHC gaining 5.9% after its production report. NHC up 2.3% and oil and gas stocks slightly higher. Healthcare better led by CSL up 0.6% and RMD rallying 1.0%. Industrials firm, QAN up 1.1%, CPU up 1.5% and BXB continuing to find buyers up 1.5%. Banks slid after recent gains, BOQ copped broker downgrades falling 5.0% and CBA dropped 1.1% with MQG bucking the trend up 0.8%. The Big Bank Basket finished down at $175.19 (-1.1%). In corporate news, BHP numbers innocuous, LYC record production but still question marks over Malaysia and WDS quarterly production numbers and guidance maintained. Nothing on the economic front, Asian markets eased, Japan down 0.2%, China down 1.2% and HK off 1.0%. 10-year yields slightly weaker at 3.47%. Dow futures down 25 points. NASDAQ futures up 12 points.
- Winners: WHC, BLD, FCL, LYC, RED, LYC, NEU, ACL
- Losers: BOQ, TIE, FMG, MDX, ILU, GQG, IMU, INR
- Positive sectors: Lithium. Gold miners. Coal. Healthcare. Industrials.
- Negative sectors: Iron ore. Base metals.
- High 7345 Low 7315 Narrow range again.
- ASX 200 down 31 points for the week.
- Big Bank Basket Falls to $175.19(-1.1%)
- All-Tech index: Unchanged.
- Gold steady at $2976
- Bitcoin: Falls to US$28,265
- Aussie Dollar: Steady at 67.11c
- 10-Year Yield: slipped to 3.47%.
- Asian markets: Japan down 0.2%, China down 1.2% and HK off 1.0%
- US Futures: Dow down 25 Nasdaq up 12.
- European markets going nowhere today. SAP numbers and UK retail sales.
- WHC +5.88% quarterly numbers.
- LYC +4.75% record production.
- BLD +5.63% pushing to highs.
- WGX +3.53% gold rallies.
- NEU +4.18% keeps on trucking.
- SBM +5.41% change in substantial holding.
- MAY +8.33% quarterly report.
- BOQ -5.03% broker downgrades.
- INR-3.23% LLL -1.92% lithium under pressure again.
- ILU -3.72% quarterly report.
- MDX -4.00% ASX please explain.
- RIO -2.77% broker reaction to quarterly.
- SMI -11.25% quarterly report
- AMI -6.25% reverses gains from Thursday.
- Speculative Stock of the Day:Western Mines (MWG) +22.34% announced it had completed the placement at 34c to raise $2.726m. The funds used will be used to expand and accelerate the diamond drilling program at Mulga Tank (Ni-Cu-PGE).
- BHP Group (BHP) – Reported record iron ore production and lump sales for the nine months, with a full-year production guidance of 278-290Mt, and unchanged guidance for other commodities. However, the cost guidance for WAIO is expected to be at the top of the range.
- Woodside Energy (WDS) – Reported sales fell by 16% in Q1 compared to the previous quarter, but remained 81% higher than the same period last year, despite a decline in production. The company maintained its guidance for output for the full year, citing “outstanding” operational performance and progress on major growth projects, including the Scarborough and Pluto LNG expansion and the Sangomar oil project in Senegal.
- Whitehaven Coal (WHC) – Experienced a 24% fall in average coal prices to $400/t in Q1 compared to the previous quarter, with managed sales of produced coal dropping 4% to 4.1Mt. Despite sitting on $2.7bn in net cash and buying back $1bn worth of shares, the company’s board has approved the start of early mining of the Vickery coal deposit with further investment decisions expected by year-end.
- Lynas Rare Earths (LYC) – Achieved record production of 1,725 tonnes in the March quarter despite a shutdown for tie-in works. Sales revenue and receipts increased, and the Kalgoorlie Rare Earths Processing Facility project is on track for Q4, but there may be a shutdown or reduced production at the Lynas Malaysia facility from July 2023 due to license conditions.
- Genesis Energy (GNE) – Customer numbers remained stable, with growth in multi-fuel customers offset by a decline in single-fuel customers. Renewable generation up 202 GWh and Genesis’ lakes at 153% of average. However, Kupe production was lower than the previous year, but oil sales prices improved.
- Mincor Resources (MCR) – Total ore mined increased 129% QoQ. Directors unanimously recommend that shareholders accept the Offer from Wyloo.
ECONOMICS & OTHER NEWS
- Bank of Queensland said the risk of a further rise in interest rates and weakening economic growth means it is too early to call the bottom of house prices, even as the value of property surprisingly rose in March.
- Bond traders ascribed a 35% chance the Reserve Bank will lift the cash rate to 3.85% in May.
- Japan’s core inflation for March came in at 3.1%, unchanged from February.
- Bank of Japan governor Kazuo Ueda will chair his first policy meeting since becoming governor next week.
- Japan manufacturing purchasing managers’ index rose to 49.5 in April from 49.2 in March, marking the slowest pace of contraction in the sector in six months.
- Bank of America has upgraded its growth forecast for China to 6.3%, from 5.5% previously and consensus of 5.3%.
- Chinese markets flashing a death cross, where a short-term moving average crosses below a longer-term equivalent.It has recently appeared on the MSCI China Index.
US AND EUROPEAN HEADLINES
- UK Retail Sales – down 0.9% M/M v 1.2% up in Feb. Down 3.1% Y/Y.
- Cathie Wood has a PT of US$2000 on Tesla in 2027. I’ll have whatever she’s having!
- Alphabet merges DeepMind and Google Brain AI research units.
- Blackstone president warns market is overestimating chance of Fed rate cuts.
- Biden expected to announce his intention to run for re-election next week.