ASX 200 closed down 6 points to 7316 (-0.1%) in a subdued trading day, following an initial bounce at 11:30am on inflation data news. Safe haven Gold the best performer today up 1.6%, as market participants digest higher-than-expected inflation results. NCM +1.7%, NST +1.5% and EVN +3.5%. Base metals and miners weighed on the market, BHP down 0.4%, RIO fell 1.1%, FMG off 0.5%, and WHC down 1.0%. Energy stocks had a good day, WDS +1.1%, STO +0.4%, and BPT +1.7%. MIN collapsed 9.7% on poor production figures, PLS and AKE affected by the lithium stock sell-off, both down 5.9% and 3.4% respectively. The Big Bank Basket down $175.25 (-0.1%). Banks and insurers mixed, CBA -0.2%, QBE +0.7%, MPL -0.3%. Tech closed in the red, All-Tech Index down 0.5%, SQ2 -1.0%, XRO +1.3%, and WTC -0.8%. Interest rate-sensitive REITS surprisingly higher as bond yields fell. In corporate news, KGN rallied +7.2% on news it intends to undertake an on-market share buyback, WAF reported strong gold production numbers up 3.6%, A2M stumbled 5.1% flabbergasted by the extent of Synlait’s profit downgrade and reconfirmed there is no material change to its FY23 outlook. In economic news, domestic inflation came in higher than expected rising 7%, YoY down from a 30-year high last quarter of 7.8%. Core CPI came in better than expected and many now calling a pause next week. Aussie bonds down, 10Y yield falls 14bps to 3.32%, 2Y yield tumbles 17bps, down to 2.97%. Bitcoin up 0.61%. Aussie dollar whacked, down 0.3% to 66.07c. Asian markets mixed, Japan down 0.9% and HK up 1.3% with China up 0.4%. Dow Jones futures up 56 points and Nasdaq futures up 172 points.
- Winners: CTT, SGF, GOR, ALK, WAF, EVN, WGX
- Losers: MSB, MIN, RNU, SYR, PLS, ARU, GRR, A2M
- Positive sectors: Healthcare. Industrials. Gold miners. Insurers.
- Negative sectors: Iron ore. Lithium. Tech.
- High 7324 Low 7285
- Big Bank Basket Steady at $175.25 unchanged.
- All-Tech index: Down 0.5%
- Gold rallies to $3021
- Bitcoin: Up to US$28,403
- Aussie Dollar: Falls to 66.06c
- 10-Year Yield: Falls to 3.32%.
- Asian markets: Japan down 0.9%, China up 0.4% and HK up 1.3%
- US Futures: Dow up 56 Nasdaq up 172.
- European markets set to open around 0.3% lower.
- CTT +7.65% luxury remains in demand.
- GOR +4.74% unhedged producer.
- EVN +3.49% gold stocks doing well.
- CXO +2.05% resource upgrade.
- TLX +2.26% continuing to push higher on recent update.
- OBM +6.90% significant Davyhurst lithium discovery.
- GAL +12.95% investor presentation.
- 4DX +11.88% quarterly activities report.
- KGN +7.22% Q3 and buy back.
- QPM +4.00% ore supply agreement with MKM.
- CCR -19.64% no revival here. Investor presentation.
- JRV -5.43% still slipping.
- MSB -11.62% yet another capital raising.
- MIN -9.67% production numbers disappoint.
- PLS -5.91% follows MIN down.
- GRR -5.56% iron ore falling.
- A2M -5.08% downgrades on SM1.
- SM1 -26.53% sours on downgrades.
- Speculative Stocks of the Day: Brookside Energy (BRK)+23.08% SWISH AOI independent reserves certification.Impedimed (IPD) +19.35% Continuing to kick higher after quarterly. Director buying recently too and good volume.
- Kogan.com (KGN) Announced three consecutive months of Group Adjusted EBITDA growth at $4.4m. Gross margin also increased 6.5% to 31.6%. The company attributed this success to operational strategies such as inventory reduction, cost efficiencies, and improved gross margins, despite subdued sales activity due to economic challenges. KGN also announced its intention for an on-market share buyback of 10% of issued stock.
- Mesoblast Ltd (MSB) completes private placing raising ~$40m at $0.85 a share. Proceeds will fund the launch and commercialization of remestemcel-L for SR-aGVHD pending FDA approval of Mesoblast’s BLA, manufacturing of remestemcel-L in Singapore, and the Phase 3 clinical trial of rexlemestrocel-L for chronic low back pain.
- MAAS Group Holdings Ltd (MGH) to acquire a 75% stake in Austek in cash. Agreement subject to various third-parties consents and conditions.
- A2 Milk (A2M) – Expressed surprise at Synlait Milk (SM1) profit downgrade and confirmed no material change to its FY23 outlook, maintaining its revenue guidance of low-double-digit percentage growth but noting a potential decline in English label infant milk formula (IMF) revenue.
- Eagers Automotive (APE) – Expects significant growth in electric vehicle (EV) sales as the country catches up to other markets, with Chinese brand BYD, the second-best selling EV behind Tesla, gaining momentum. Eagers currently sells BYD at 12 locations out of its national network of 200 showrooms.
- West African Resources (WAF) – 13% increase in gold production to 56,307 ounces in the March quarter, with a 10% decrease in all-in sustaining cost to $1172 per ounce. The company also set its 2023 gold production guidance at 210,000 to 230,000 ounces with cost below $1175 per ounce.
- Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (URW) – Acquired Hammerson’s 50% stake in the Croydon Partnership, a 10-hectare parcel in South London.
- Mineral Resources (MIN) – Record lithium shipments of 111,000 dmt of spodumene concentrate in Q3, up 15% from the previous quarter. Delays at Mt Marion lithium expansion project due to challenges in getting workers to site and finding accommodation, resulting in lower sales guidance and increased production costs. Additionally, MinRes has lowered its full-year production volume guidance for its mining services division due to delays in approvals and joint venture projects.
- James Hardie (JHX) – Concluded the weather tightness litigation brought against it in New Zealand, discontinuing the planned 32-week trial in its entirety. The detailed terms of the agreement are confidential, and James Hardie will record the costs associated with the agreement in its Q4 results.
- Sonic Healthcare (SHL) – Signed binding agreements to acquire Medical Laboratories Duesseldorf for €180m, with MLD expected to generate revenues of approximately €50m in FY24.
- Viva Energy (VEA) – Reported a 70% increase in EBITDA for Q1, with sales volumes up by 20.1%. However, the company expects commercial earnings to moderate for the rest of the first half due to seasonal factors and lower earnings from spot sales, as regional refining margins have declined.
- Stockland Corp (SGP) – Maintained its FY23 guidance while noting uncertain market conditions. The company reported strong rent collection and high occupancy levels, with leasing spreads accelerating for logistics and town centres.
- Pacific Smiles Group Ltd (PSQ) provides trading up. Performance to date, as of 24 April 2023: patient fees YTD $216.5m, patient fees increase YOY 20.5%, same centre patient fees increase YOY 15.5%. PSQ reaffirms guidance given in February.
ECONOMICS & OTHER NEWS
- The monthly CPI indicator rose 6.3% in the twelve months to March.
- The most significant price rises were Housing (+9.5%), Food and non-alcoholic beverages (+8.1%) and Furnishings, household equipment and services (+7.2%).
- Core CPI, which is the RBA’s preferred measure, cooled to 6.6% from 6.9%. Economists had expected a reading of 6.7%.
- Aussie dollar hits 5-week low post inflation numbers.
- Deutsche Bank has removed its call for the RBA to raise the cash rate by 0.25%. BetaShares’ chief economist,David Bassanese, said there is a good chance now that the RBA won’t need to raise interest rates again this year.
- Consumer confidence increased slightly but remained below 80 for the eighth consecutive week, reflecting the ongoing impact of inflation and monetary policy adjustments, according to an ANZ-Roy Morgan survey. All housing cohorts are now below 80 in confidence levels, following the recent rate increase by the Reserve Bank of Australia.
- Singapore’s central bank expects economic growth across the world to slow in 2023 as aggressive interest rate rises finally start to bite.
- The Bank of America revised downwards South Korea’s 2023 GDP growth forecast to 1.4% year on year from 1.9% previously.
- Ispace said it lost contact with a lander bound for the moon. There is a ‘high probability that the lander eventually made a hard landing on the moon’s surface’. Chief Technology Officer Ryo Ujiie was more emotional when he fronted the press. Explaining to reporters in detail what likely happened to the lander based on telemetry and simulations, he was visibly moved.
US AND EUROPEAN HEADLINES
- First Republic Bank pursuing all options as US$100bn walks in last quarter.
- Standard Chartered’s first-quarter profit rises 21%. statutory pretax profit for January-March reached US$1.81bn. That compared with US$1.49bn a year earlier and the $1.43 billion average of 14 analyst estimates. Credit impairment remained low at just $26m for the quarter, down from $198m a year earlier.
- Roche Q1 sales down 7% above forecasts. Lower CV tests leading to a fall in group sales.
Loofahs come in 4 sizes – Small, Medium, Large and Vandross.
A duck walks into the pub carrying a trowel and wearing a hard hat and says to the barman “a pint of bitter please” .
The Barman says “I’ve never met a talking duck before. You should be in the circus”.
The Duck replies – “What would a circus want with a bricklayer?”.