The ASX 200 is down 12 points in mid morning trade, a reasonable performance in light of the US sell-off on Friday. Trade wars and jobs miss the key features. AGO takeover and CBA’s Matt Comyn takes the reins to reign today #ausbiz



  • Ex-dividend – Adairs (ADH) 5.5c, AID 6.0c, Brickworks (BKW) 18.0c, Cadence Capital (CDM) 4.0c, Clover Corporation (CLV) 0.5c, CTI Logistics (CLX) 2.0c, Global Value Fund (GVF) 3.2c, Watermark Market Neutral Fund (WMK) 1.0c
  • Economic data – AIG construction index, TD inflation gauge
  • Japanese data – Consumer confidence, Eco watchers survey.


  • German trade data


  • Mineral Resources (MIN) – Takeover of Atlas Iron (AGO) where AGO shareholders will receive 1 new MRL share for every 571 Atlas shares held on the record date. Based on the closing prices of MRL and Atlas shares on 4 April 2018, this implies a $3.02 offer price or a 59% premium to the April 4 price.
  • Macquarie Atlas Roads (MQA) – Has announced changes to its management structure.
  • Commonwealth Bank (CBA) – Matt Comyn starts as CEO today.
  • Magellan Financial Group – Fund under management
  • Trade Me Jobs (TME) – Press release saying NZ jobs market strong but it may not last.
  • Suncorp (SUN) – Sylvia Falzon appointed to the Board.
  • Bluescop Steel (BSL) – Gretta Stephens will join as Chief Executive New Zealand & Pacific Islands while Sanjay Dayal, Chief Executive Strategy and Optimisation will be leaving the Company
  • Billabong (BBG) – Has applied for a suspension pending acquisition by Boardriders at $1.05, effective 24 April.


  • CSL ($157.99) – UBS has a Buy recommendation with a target price of $175. Canada has announced changes to the sourcing of immunoglobulin from the various commercial operators. This will mean a fall for CSL for total purchased IG to 10% in FY19 from around 26% in FY18. The analyst calculates a CAD$44m drop in IG revenue for CSL in FY19, which is only 1% of sales globally.


  • RedMed (RMD $12.24) – Credit Suisse has a Neutral recommendation with a target price of $11.95 (from $11.30). The analyst has reviewed the French CPAP market and upgrades earnings estimates by around 1.5% because of stronger growth in masks. They remain upbeat of the potential for robust growth in the rest of the world and US masks sales but think the shares are fully valued.


  • Super Retail Group (SUL $6.84) – Morgan Stanley has an Equal-weight recommendation with a target price of $7.00. The analyst has updated forecasts following the Macpac acquisition and the update on Rays. They are cautious about the Macpac acquisition and have concerns around capital allocation, but think the valuation will remain cheap, particularly as the balance sheet now looks stretched. Technically, it’s worth noting that SUL has just bounced from an oversold RSI of 30, the MACD histogram is ticking up and shares have moved off the lower Bollinger Band. These are all buy idnicators.








US EQUITIES – S&P500 -58 (-2.19%), Dow Jones -572 (-2.34%), Nasdaq -161(-2.28%).

Main themes –

  • President Trump calls on US trade officials to consider tariffs on another $100 billion worth of imports from China (on top of the $50bn announced earlier in the week) and Beijing pledged a “fierce counter strike.” Trump said the stock market may have to have a little pain as he works to protect US trade interests.
  • Treasury Secretary Mnuchin acknowledges there could be a trade war with China
  • Trump saying this morning that China will buckle first
  • US employment data disappointed, with the lowest new job creation in 6 months.

EUROPEAN MARKETS – All lower. STOXX 600 -0.35%, UK FTSE -0.22%, German DAX -0.52%, French CAC -0.35%.


  • The US dollar was down 0.43% to 90.07.
  • The Aussie dollar is a bit lower at US76.75c.

BONDS – 2-yr: -4 bps to 2.26%, 5-yr: -5 bps to 2.59%, 10-yr: -6 bps to 2.78%, 30-yr: -5 bps to 3.02%


  • WTI oil closed down 2.3% at US$63.06 on the latest tariff threats.
  • Gold futures was up 0.62% to US$1,368.80 on the falling US dollar and trade fears.
  • Iron ore was unchanged at US$65.00
  • LME metals were mixed – Copper -0.69%, nickel -0.41%, aluminium +1.54%


  • US economic data – March Nonfarm Payrolls 103K (consensus 175K; prior 326K), Nonfarm Private Payrolls 102K (consensus 180K; prior 320K), Unemployment Rate 4.1% (consensus 4.0%; prior 4.1%), Average Hourly Earnings 0.3% to be up 2.7% over the year (consensus 0.2%; prior 0.1%), and Average Workweek 34.5 (consensus 34.5; prior 34.5), February Consumer Credit $10.6bn (consensus $15.0bn; prior $15.6bn)
  • On the employment data – It was a pretty disappointing mix, with both disappointing job creation and a higher increase in wages growth. The U6 unemployment rate, which accounts for unemployed and underemployed workers, was 8.0, versus 8.2% in February. The labor force participation rate was 62.9% in March, versus 63.0% in February
  • Fed Speak – Fed Chairman Jay Powell spoke at the Economic Club of Chicago in the early afternoon, noting that the still moderate wage gains show that the job market is not excessively tight. Chairman Powell said that gradual rate hikes are warranted to best promote the Fed’s goals and that inflation is expected to accelerate in the spring.
  • European data – Eurozone Retail PMI 50.1 (last 52.3), Germany’s February Industrial Production -1.6% (expected 0.2%; last 0.1%), France’s February trade deficit EUR5.20 billion (expected deficit of EUR5.30 billion; last deficit of EUR5.40 billion), Spain’s February Industrial Production +3.1% (expected 5.1%; last 0.7%)
  • UK Q4 Labor Productivity +0.7% (expected 0.8%; last 1.0%) and Housing Equity Withdrawal -GBP6.70 billion, as expected (last -GBP6.30 billion)
  • Current Fed expectations – The CME FedWatch Tool now pegs the probability of a fourth rate hike in December at 24.4% versus 32.7% on Thursday.


“Stupid people do make me lose my temper and most people are stupid, fortunately for me. It’s made it easier for me to make a living.” – Albert Gubay, Welsh businessman born this day in 1928.


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