The ASX is up 4 points in mid morning trade as markets digest watered-down tariff news. Industrials and Financials in the lead, Energy and Materials lagging. S&P index changes announced. MYR out of 200. Focus moves to US jobs data tonight #ausbiz
- Ex-dividend – OZ Minerals (OZL) 14.0c, Wisetech Global (WTC) 1.1c
- Chinese data – Inflation Rate and PPI
- BoJ Interest Rate Decision
- Japanese – Household Spending, Machine tool orders
- UK data – Construction Orders, Construction Output, Industrial Production, Manufacturing Production, Balance of Trade
- US economic data – Nonfarm Payrolls, Unemployment Rate, Avg. Hourly Earnings, Average Workweek, Wholesale Inventories
- Fed Speak – Boston Fed President (alternate voter) Eric Rosengren, Chicago Fed President (alternate voter) Charles Evans
CHANGES to the S&P indices – The details of the quarterly rebalance have been released. The changes are effective at the open of trading on March 19, 2018. At this rebalance, the entire S&P/ASX index hierarchy was reviewed, including the All Ordinaries.
- Addition – South32 Limited (S32)
- Removal QBE Insurance Group Limited (QBE)
- Addition – Cleanaway Waste Management Limited (CWY), Xero Limited (XRO)
- Removal – Fairfax Media Limited (FXJ), Vocus Group Limited (VOC)
- Addition – Ausdrill Limited (ASL). Bellamy’s Australia Limited (BAL), Smartgroup Corporation Ltd (SIQ), XRO Xero Limited (XRO)
- Removal – Australian Agricultural Company Limited (AAC), HT&E Limited (HT1), Myer Holdings Limited (MYR)
- Addition – Altura Mining Limited (AJM), Bravura Solutions Limited (BVS), Emeco Holdings Limited (EHL), Global Geoscience Limited (GSC), Integrated Research Limited (IRI), Kidman Resources Limited (KDR),Lovisa Holdings Limited (LOV), Melbourne IT Limited (MLB), New Century Resources Limited (NCZ), NRW Holdings Limited (NWH), Netwealth Group Limited (NWL), Pro Medicus Limited (PME), Updater Inc (UPD),
- Removal – Alacer Gold Corp. (AQG), Baby Bunting Group Limited (BBN), Cabcharge Australia Limited (CAB), Holdings Limited (GBT), Highfield Resources Limited (HFR), Netcomm Wireless Limited (NTC), Silver Chef Limited (SIV), Silver Lake Resources Limited (SLR), Thorn Group Limited (TGA), Vita Group Limited (VTG)
- Addition – Argosy Minerals Limited (AGY), Aurelia Metals Limited (AMI), Alliance Aviation Services Limited (AQZ), Artemis Resources Limited (ARV), Australis Oil & Gas Limited (ATS), Australian Mines Limited (AUZ), AVZ Minerals Limited (AVZ), Boart Longyear Limited (BLY), Bathurst Resources Limited (BRL), Brainchip Holdings Ltd (BRN), Bubs Australia Limited (BUB), Blue Energy Limited (BUL), Capitol Health Limited (CAJ), Cann Group Limited (CAN), CRD Credible Labs Inc. (CRD), Convenience Retail REIT (CRR), Danakali Limited (DNK), Emeco Holdings Limited (EHL), Electro Optic Systems Holdings Limited (EOS), Eservglobal Limited (ESV), Fastbrick Robotics Ltd (FBR), Freedom Oil and Gas Ltd (FDM), Fiducian Group Limited (FID), Flinders Mines Limited (FMS), Fleetwood Corporation Limited (FWD), Global Construction Services Limited (GCS), Garda Diversified Property Fund (GDF), Global Geoscience Limited (GSC), Getswift Limited (GSW), Hastings Technology Metals Ltd (HAS), Heron Resources Limited (HRR), Jumbo Interactive Limited (JIN), Johns Lyng Group Limited (JLG), Livehire Limited (LVH), Lycopodium Limited )LYL), Medlab Clinical Limited (MDC), New Century Resources Limited (NCZ), Neuren Pharmaceuticals Limited (NEU), NEW Energy Solar (NEW), National Veterinary Care Ltd (NVL), Netwealth Group Limited (NWL), NZME Limited (NZM), OM Holdings Limited (OMH), Pacific Current Group Limited (PAC), Panoramic Resources Limited (PAN), Pengana Capital Group Limited (PCG), Propel Funeral Partners Limited (PFP), Pioneer Credit Limited (PNC), Pro-Pac Packaging Limited (PPG), Pushpay Holdings Limited (PPH), Regional Express Holdings Limited (REX), Rpmglobal Holdings Limited (RUL), Slater & Gordon Limited (SGH), Southern Cross Electrical Engineering Ltd (SXE), Tawana Resources NL (TAW), Titan Minerals Limited (TTM), Wagners Holding Company Limited (WGN), Xanadu Mines Ltd (XAM), Yojee Limited (YOJ), Zip Co Limited (ZIP)
- Removal – Oneall International Limited (1AL), 88 Energy Limited (88E),Adslot Ltd (ADJ), ASF Group Limited (AFA), Apiam Animal Health Limited (AHX), Alexium International Group Limited (AJX), APN Property Group Limited (APD), Atrum Coal Limited (ATU), Australian Vintage Ltd (AVG), Billabong International Limited (BBG), Beston Global Food Company Limited (BFC), Blackham Resources Limited (BLK), CBL Corporation Limited (CBL), Cudeco Limited (CDU), Cogstate Ltd (CGS), Compumedics Limited (CMP), CSG Limited (CSV), Doray Minerals Limited (DRM), Ding Sheng Xin Finance Co. Limited (DXF), Eureka Group Holdings Limited (EGH), Eastern Goldfields Limited (EGS), Ellex Medical Lasers Limited (ELX), Freedom Insurance Group Ltd (FIG), Fonterra Shareholders’ Fund (FSF), GBST Holdings Limited (GBT), Gazal Corporation Limited (GZL), Innate Immunotherapeutics Limited (IIL), Kina Securities Limited (KSL), Lucapa Diamond Company Limited (LOM), McGrath Limited (MEA), Millennium Minerals Limited (MOY), Mitula Group Limited (MUA), OBJ Limited (OBJ), Oneview Healthcare PLC (ONE), Peninsula Energy Limited (PEN), Resapp Health Limited (RAP), Reef Casino Trust (RCT), Redflow Limited (RFX), RXP Services Limited (RXP), Sundance Energy Australia Limited (SEA), Shine Corporate Ltd (SHJ), Structural Monitoring Systems PLC (SMN), Stanmore Coal Limited (SMR), Thorn Group Limited (TGA), The Reject Shop Limited (TRS), Watpac Limited (WTP), Xenith Ip Group Limited (XIP), Yowie Group Ltd (YOW)
- Trade ME (TME) – Acquisition of Motorcentral declined by Commerce Commission. TME said “The Commission has given a high-level view of its reasons for declining our application, but we’re keen to see the full rationale in its written decision that will emerge in a few weeks before we decide what to do…We’ll consider all our options, including appealing the decision. We’ll also explore how we can work with Motorcentral to deliver some of the benefits we planned to our mutual customers.”
- Orica (ORI) – Updated investor presentation
- Oz Minerals (OZL) – Power Strategy
- Scentre Group (SCG) – Moody’s has lowered Scentre Group’s credit rating from “A1” (review for possible downgrade) to “A2”.
- Fonterra (FSF) – Global dairy update for February. NZ milk production fell 5%. Collection fell 8% as weather hurt soil moisture and pasture quality. Australia milk collection rose 32% in Janaury. December milk production rose 1% in Europe and 1% in the US
- REA Group (REA) – Citi has upgraded to a Buy (from Neutral) recommendation and raised its target price to $90 (from $80.20. The analyst estimates the depth penetration rate for new listings is 63%, and thinks this will rise to 69% by FY20 and above 80% in the longer term. Listings growth has been strong to date but likely to be affected by the early timing of Easter in March. REA Group’s pricing encourages agents to move up the product curve and Citi forecasts a 3-year CAGR of 22% for depth revenue. The analyst has upgraded FY18-20 estimates by 1-3%.
- Tower (TWR) – Credit Suisse has upgraded to an Outperform (from Neutral) recommendation and raised its target price by 38% to 90c.
- BWX – Morgans sees the sideways price movement just above key support at $4.89 over the past week suggesting buyers could be on their way back. “The relative strength index and the moving average convergence divergence indicators are bouncing from oversold territory, suggesting that the price is likely to rise in the short term.” It views BWX as a tactical buy at current levels, but if the stock were to rise to $5.80 then that could be the right time to close long positions
SPI FUTURES +14
US EQUITIES – S&P500 +12 (+0.45%), Dow Jones +94 (+0.38%), Nasdaq +31 (+0.42%)
Main themes –
- Trump signed tariffs on aluminium and steel but exempts Canada and Mexico and leaves the door open to other countries to negotiate.
- ECB meeting – The ECB reiterated it will EXTEND quantitative easing (QE) if necessary, but dropped the pledge from last policy meeting to INCREASE it necessary. Points to plans to stop asset purchases by year end. “We continue to expect interest rates to remain at their present levels for an extended period of time, and well past the horizon of our net asset purchases.”
- Focus on payrolls data tonight
EUROPEAN MARKETS – All stronger. STOXX +0.36%, UK FTSE +0.16%, German Dax +1.09%, French CAC +0.34%. Italy +1.22%.
- The US dollar was up more than half a percent at 90.13.
- The Aussie dollar is 0.40% lower at US77.89c.
BONDS – 2-yr: -1 bp to 2.24%, 5-yr: -2 bps to 2.63%, 10-yr: -1 bp to 2.87%, 30-yr: -2 bps to 3.13%
- WTI oil was down US$1.03 or 1.7% at US$60.12. The EIA showed US crude production hit a record high of almost 10.4 mbpd in the week ended March 2.
- Gold futures were down 0.48% to S$1321.30.
- Iron ore was unchanged at $77.50.
- LME metals were mostly weaker – copper -1.68%, nickel -2.35%, aluminium +0.43%.
ECONOMIC DATA, NEWS & POLITICS
- ECB on tariffs – Cautious tone on inflation and says Trump’s tariffs plans are a concern – “If you put tariffs on your allies, who are your enemies?”
- US economic data – Weekly Initial Claims 231K (consensus 220K; prior 210K) and Continuing Claims 1870K (prior 1934K)
- German January Factory Orders -3.9% (expected -1.9%; last 3.0%)
- Strong Japanese data yesterday – Q4 GDP +0.4% (expected 0.2%; last 0.1%); +1.6% year-over-year (consensus 0.9%; last 0.5%). GDP Price Index +0.1% year-over-year (expected 0.0%; last 0.0%). January adjusted Current Account surplus JPY2.02 trillion (expected surplus JPY1.76 trillion; last surplus JPY1.68 trillion). February Bank Lending +2.1% year-over-year (expected 2.4%; last 2.4%). February Economy Watchers Current Index 48.6 (expected 50.6; last 49.9)
- Chinese data yesterday – Trade surplus $33.74bn (expected $600m; last $20.35bn). February Imports +6.3% (expected 9.7%; last 36.9%) and February Exports +44.5% (expected 13.6%; last 11.1%)
- It’s a short week in Melbourne due to Labour Day but the Aussie stock market will be open. Home loan data, including investment lending, will be released on Tuesday along with Westpac’s consumer confidence index
- In China, credit data is released on Monday, and Wednesday features fixed asset investment, industrial production and retail sales.
- The minutes from today’s Bank of Japan meeting are released next Wednesday, and other key Japanese data includes PPI on Tuesday, and capacity utilisation and industrial production on Friday.
- European data includes industrial production and employment change on Wednesday, and inflation and wages growth on Friday.
- In the US, CPI on Tuesday will be a major focus, along with PPI and retail sales on Wednesday and housing starts, building permits, industrial production and consumer sentiment on Friday.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“There is no reason why the women of the country should not greatly advance themselves.” – Leland Stanford, American businessman and founder of Stanford university (with wife Jane), born this day in 1824. Died 21 June 1893. No reason indeed Mr Stanford.