The ASX200 is down 172 points in early trade. No shares or sectors are higher. Gold and defensive sectors outperform. Gold the worst. MQG, SCP and MFG in focus. S&P futures up 24 points in the US.




  • RBA meeting – no expectation of a change in policy
  • Data – Retail sales -0.2% expected after +1.2% for December, Trade data
  • Company events – Magellan Fin Grp Ltd (MFG) 1H, Macquarie Group Ltd (MQG) operational briefing, Janus Henderson (JHG) FY


  • US Fed Speak – St. Louis Fed President (alternate voter) James Bullard
  • UK House prices
  • US JOLTS (job openings and labor turnover survey), trade balance


  • Macquarie Group (MQG) – Operational briefing. “Satisfactory” trading conditions”. Annuity-style business slightly up, capital markets facing business down. Macquarie expects the FY18 result for the Group to be up approximately 10% on FY17. Buy-back stays in place. Group capital surplus at $4.1bn. Financials position comfortable exceeds regulatory guidance.
  • Shopping Centres Australia (SCP) – 1H results. Net profit down 66% to $69.6m.  Funds from operations up 4.9%. Raises Funds from Operations to 15.3c and distribution guidance to 13.9c.
  • Magellan Financial Group (MFG) – 1H profit up 25% (excluding one-offs), 1H revenue up 28% and average FUA up 25% to $53.6bn. Will buy Frontier Partners Group to add to activities in North America. Will also buy Airlie Funds Management in Australia. Two acquisitions for $15m in cash and 4.5m in shares.
  • Lifehealthcare (LHC) – Agrees to $179m takeover by PEP at $3.75.
  • IPH Limited (IPH) – Three businesses to combine under Spruson & Ferguson brand.


  • Wesfarmers (WES) – Citi has cut its target price by 5.3% to $39.30. Macquarie has cut its target price by 3.6% to $43.92. UBS has cut its target price by 2.4% to $40.30.
  • Morgans on the Banks – Commonwealth Bank (CBA) target raised 1.9% to $81.5, NAB target price cut 2.9% to $33.50, Westpac (WBC) target price cut 2.7% to $36.00.
  • Appen Group (APX) – Canccord Genuity rises its target price by 19% to $9.60.
  • Speedcast (SDA) – Canaccord Genuity has raised its target price by 1.3% to $6.15
  • Domino’s Pizza (DMP) – Morgan Stanley is bullish based on online takeaway food sales, which were up 12.2% in December. Not discounting the growth of UberEats and Menulog, DMP with 40% of the market will be seeing some of this growth. MS says the recent launch of oven-baked sandwiches and king-size pizzas is “another example of DMP improving its offer.”
  • Computershare (CPU) – MS has raised its target price by 13% to $13.00
  • ASX – MS has raised its target price by 4.7% to $55.50.
  • AGL – MS has cut its target price by 5.3% to $24.05. Macquarie has downgraded to Neutral (from Outperform).
  • Ardent Leisure (AAD) – Macqurie has cut its target price by 7% to $2.00. UBS has cut its target price by 5.4% to $1.75.




US EQUITIES – S&P500 -113 (-4.10%), Dow Jones -1,175 (-14.60%) and was down 1,597 at worst, Nasdaq -273 (-3.78%).

Main themes –

  • Biggest fall since August 2011February 8 deadline to fund U.S. government approaching
  • Wells Fargo (-9.22%) after Fed decides to restrict the company’s growth until it improves its governance and controls; financial sector underperforms
  • Utilities the only sector higher
  • GPB down 0.8% on Brexit and economy fears

EUROPEAN MARKETS – All weaker. STOXX -1.56%, UK FTSE -1.46%, German Dax -0.76%, French CAC -1.48%.


  • The US dollar closed 0.56% higher at 89.70.
  • The Aussie dollar continues to weaken – down to 78.83.

BONDS – 2-yr: -6 bps to 2.08%, 5-yr: -8 bps to 2.52%, 10-yr: -6 bps to 2.79%, 30-yr: -3 bps to 3.07%


  • WTI oil was down US$1.30 or 2.0% to US$64.15. Brent was down US$1.00 or 1.5% to US$67.584. The US continue to pressure prices.
  • Gold futures were up 0.43% to US$1,336.07
  • Iron ore up US$2.15 or almost 3% to US$75.95.
  • LME metals mostly stronger – aluminium +0.057%, nickel +2.31%, copper +1.76%


  • New Fed chair – Jay Powell sworn in as Chairman of the Federal Reserve
  • US economic data – January ISM Services 59.9 (consensus 56.7; prior 56.0) is the highest since August 2005. ISM says it points to real GDP growth of 4%
  • Bitcoin – down 12% to US$7,187.
  • ECB President Mario Draghi cautioned that while there is more confidence about the path of inflation, patience and persistence is needed with regards to monetary policy
  • Eurozone December Retail Sales -1.1% as expected (last 2.0%); +1.9%yoy, as expected (last 3.9%). February Sentix Investor Confidence 31.9 (expected 33.2; last 32.9). January Services PMI 58.0 (expected 57.6; last 57.6




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