MID MORNING MARKETS 9-8-18

The ASX200 is down 5 points in mid-morning trade after a quiet US session. Consumer Disc the best sector, banks ok, Utilities worst. Results: AGL, MGR and ORA -ve, MFG, SUN +ve. RIO ex-div. BHP settles Samarco. Chinese inflation today #ausbiz

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  • Ex-dividend – Morphic Ethical Equities Fund (MEC) 1.0c, Milton Corporation (MLT) 10.2c, Rio Tinto (RIO) 170.8c
  • Japanese – Machinery Orders
  • Chinese – Inflation Rate, PPI

TONIGHT

  • US economic data – PPI, Core PPI, Wholesale Inventories
  • Chicago Fed President (alternate voter) Charles Evans

COMPANY NEWS

  • BHP Billiton (BHP) – US Samarco Class Action settled. BHP has agreed to pay the plaintiffs US$50 million, with no admission of liability. The agreement is subject to approval by the District Court.
  • Spark New Zealand (SPK) – Outlines 5G network intensions
  • Newcrest Mining (NCM) – FY18 carrying value update. Non-cash earnings impact in the range of $260-$270m after tax
  • Orora (ORA) – FY results. Outlook – Expects to continue to drive organic growth and invest in innovation and growth during FY19, with constant currency earnings expected to be higher than reported in FY18, subject to global economic conditions

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  • AGL Energy (AGL) – FY results. Statutory Profit after tax up 194% to$1,587m; Statutory EPS up 201% to 242.0c; Underlying NPAT up 28% to $1,023m; Underlying EPS up 30% to 156.0c; Net cash provided by operating activities up 140% to $2,134m; Dividends 117cps (up 29%), ROE 13%, up 2.8 percentage points. Guidance: AGL expects Underlying NPAT in FY19 to be $970-$1,070m, including the benefit of a $120 million reduction in operating costs, which will mitigate the impact of increased competitive intensity in Customer Markets
  • Mirvac (MGR) – FY results. Top end of guidance, delivering EPS of 15.6c, up 8% on FY17, and DPS of 11cps, up 6% on FY17
  • Suncorp (SUN) – NPAT -1.5% to $1,059m, cash earnings -4.1% to $1,098m, group underlying insurance trading ratio +11.7% , Fully franked dividend 73c, special div 8c. top line growth of 2.4%. Featured strong 2H18 performance (NPAT up 34% on 1H18); Business Improvement Program (BIP) delivered net benefits of $40m, exceeding targets; Digitisation beginning to drive benefits; Robust balance sheet underpins special dividend; Momentum to deliver sustainable uplift in FY19. Has sold its Australian life insurance business1 to TAL Dai-ichi Life Australia for approximately $725m, anticipates returning approx $600m to shareholders.
  • Magellan Financial Group (MFG) – Profit after tax up 37% to $268.9 million; Total dividends up 57% to 134.5 cents per share; New dividend policy increases ongoing payout ratio by 20% to 90-95%
  • Wisetech Global Solutions (WTC) – Has acquired Taric, a leading Spanish logistics solutions provider, for ~$25.0m upfront with a further multi-year earn-out potential of up to ~$21.9m related to business and product integration, and revenue performance.

OVERNIGHT

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SPI FUTURES -flat

US EQUITIES – S&P500 -1 (-0.03%), Dow Jones -45 (-0.18%), Nasdaq +5(+0.06%).

Main themes

  • China has retaliated against US tariffs by adding import duties of 25% on $16bn worth of American goods, including oil
  • Energy sector underperforms, financials and technology outperform.

EUROPEAN MARKETS – Mostly lower. STOXX 600 -0.20%, UK FTSE +0.75%, German DAX -0.12%, French CAC -0.35%.

CURRENCIES

  • The US dollar was down 0.1% at 95.09
  • The Aussie dollar is stronger at 74.33

BONDS – Boring! 2-yr: UNCH at 2.67%, 5-yr: UNCH at 2.84%, 10-yr: UNCH at 2.97%, 30-yr: UNCH at 3.12%

COMMODITIES

  • WTI crude futures rose US$2.23 or 3.2% to US$66.94 on Chinese tariffs on US imports (including oil and LNG) and news Chinese imports of oil were the third lowest this year. US crude stockpiles fell by 1.4mb (less than the 3.3mb).
  • Gold futures were up US$2.70 at $1,221.00.
  • Iron Ore – IRESS reports iron ore up US$1.50 at US$69.50 a tonne. The CommSec site says China Import (Fines 62% Fe) was down U10c at US$69.40/dry ton. (CFR Tianjin port)
  • LME metals – Mostly higher. Cu -0.03%, Ni +1.44%, Al +3.34% the highlight

ECONOMIC DATA, NEWS & POLITICS

  • US data – Weekly MBA Mortgage Index (actual -3.0%; prior -2.6%)
  • US earnings – Walt Disnet (-2.2%), CVS Health (+4.2%) and Snap _-6.8%).
  • Italian politics – Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said that new budgetary measures (citizen’s income and flat tax) will be implemented gradually, but Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio reiterated calls for immediate implementation.
  • Bank of England policymaker Ian McCafferty said it is reasonable to expect ‘a couple more’ small rate hikes over the next couple years
  • Chinese trade data yesterday

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QUOTE OF THE DAY

“The time your game is most vulnerable is when you’re ahead; never let up.” – Rod Laver, Australian athlete born this day in 1938.

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