The ASX is up 22 points this morning as markets become more optimistic about the Trump tariff reality, with exemptions likely. BHP ex-div taking 7 points off the market. Chine trade data later today and ECB tonight.  #ausbiz

Short report this morning – I’ve been at the Capital Economics Conference. Really great presentations. More bullish than consensus for the US and Fed rates, more bearish on China and Australia.



  • Economic data – Balance of trade
  • Ex-dividend – Air New Zealand (AIZ) 10.3c, ASX (ASX) 107.2c, Bell Financial Group (BFG) 5.5c, BHP Billiton (BHP) 69.4c, Beach Energy (BPT) 1.0c, Breville Group (BRG)16.5c, Barrack St Investments (BST) 1.3c, Desane Group Holdings (DGH) 2.3c, FlexiGroup (FXL) 3.9c, Global Construction Services (GCS) 2.0c, G8 Education (GEM) 10.0c, Globe (GLB) 5.0c, Jumbo Interactive (JIN) 7.5c, Kip McGrath (KME) 1.0c, Lifestyle Communities (LIC) 2.0c, Mainstream Group Holdings (MAI) 0.5c, Monash IVF Group (MVF) 3.4c, MYOB Group (MYO) 5.8c, Pro Medicus (PME) 2.5c, Pinnacle Investment Management Group (PNI) 4.6c, QBE 4.0c, QMS Media (QMS) 1.0c, Regis Resources (RRL) 8.0c, Reliance Worldwide Corporation (RWC) 3.5c, South32 (S32) 9.3c, Speedcast International (SDA) 4.8c, Schaffer Corporation (SFC)15.0c, Summerset Group Holdings (SNZ) 5.6c, Servcorp (SRV) 13.0c, Trade Me Group (TME) 9.1c, Veem (VEE) 0.4c, Villa World (VLW) 8.0c
  • Chinese trade data
  • Japanese GDP and current account


  • ECB meeting


  • Mantra (MTR) – The ACCC will not oppose Accor’s takeover of Mantra, saying ‘The combined Accor-Mantra will still compete with other international and national hotel chains, as well as many independent hotels and accommodation providers…and will have a large number of properties in some areas, particularly in certain holiday destinations in Queensland. However, in each case and after a detailed review the ACCC has found that there are also sufficient other options nearby for visitors which will provide competition to Accor-Mantra’.
  • Suncorp (SUN) – Subsidiary Vero Insurance has sold its 19.99% stake in Tower for 80c per share to Bain Capital. The divestment follows the New Zealand Commerce Commission’s decision to decline the application by Vero to acquire 100% of Tower.


  • There was a big increase in the shorts in BWX following a disappointing result.




US EQUITIES – S&P500 -1 (-0.05%), Dow Jones -83 (+0.04%), Nasdaq +41 (+0.56%)

Main themes –

  • Gary Cohn’s departure from NEC suggests President Trump will follow through with sanctions on aluminum and steel imports
  • Optimism that Canada, Mexico and some other countries (Australia perhaps) will be exempt from the tarrifs

EUROPEAN MARKETS – Mostly higher. STOXX +0.36%, UK FTSE +0.16%, German Dax +1.09%, French CAC +0.34%. Italy +1.22%.


  • The US dollar was down slightly at 89.57.
  • The Aussie dollar is 0.17% higher at US78.22c.

BONDS – 2-yr: UNCH at 2.25%, 5-yr: UNCH at 2.65%, 10-yr: +1 bp to 2.88%, 30-yr: +1 bp to 3.15%


  • WTI oil was down US$1.45 or 2.3% at US$61.15.
  • Gold futures were down 0.685 to S$1326.10.
  • Iron ore was down US$1.50 at $77.50.
  • LME metals were mixed – copper +0.75%, nickel +1.04%, aluminium -2.42%.


  • US economic data – Weekly MBA Mortgage Index 0.3% (prior 2.7%), ADP Employment Change 235K (consensus 193K; prior 244K), Q4 Productivity-Revised 0.0% (consensus -0.1%; prior -0.1%), Q4 Unit Labor Costs – Revised 2.5% (consensus 2.1%; prior 2.0%), January Trade Balance -$56.6 bln (consensus -$55.0 bln; prior -$53.9 bln), January Consumer Credit $13.9 bln (consensus $18.8 bln; prior $19.2 bln)


“Whatever women do, they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good. Luckily, this is not difficult.” – Charlotte Whitton, Canadian politician born this day in 1896. Died 25 January 1975.


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