MID MORNING MARKETS 5-12-18

The ASX 200 is down 76 points in mid morning trade as on “Tariff Man” Trump tweets and yield curve inversion at the short end (makes me sound smart, right?).  TPM AGM, TME bid war, CSL investor dayand LYC preconditions. GDP  today and US markets closed tonight #ausbiz

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m2m3TODAY

  • Economic data – AIG Services Index, GDP Growth Rate

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  • Japan– Nikkei Services PMI
  • Chinese – Caixin Composite PMI, Caixin Services PMI

TONIGHT

  • European data – Retail Sales, Markit Composite PMI Final, Markit Services PMI Final
  • UK Markit/CIPS UK Services PMI
  • US economic data – ADP Employment Change, Productivity-Rev., Unit Labor Costs – Rev, ISM Services, Beige Book
  • Fed Speak – New York Fed President John Williams (FOMC voter). Fed chair, Jerome Powell, will give testimony of the economic outlook before the congressional Joint Economic Committee
  • Markets closed in recognition of national day of mourning for President George H.W. Bush.

COMPANY NEWS

  • Primary Health Care (PRY) changes name and code to Healius (HLS)
  • TPG Telecom (TPM) – AGM. MOBILE NETWORK ROLLOUT UPDATE: – Australia – Small cell site rollout is continuing; TPG’s small cell network would be complementary to VHA’s mobile network bringing greater strength to the combined Group in densely populated areas through increased coverage and capacity; Capital expenditure outlook still in line with initial forecasts. Singapore – Still on track to achieve milestone of outdoor service coverage in Singapore by the end of 2018; Production network already covering in excess of 90% of outdoor areas; Strong initial testing results; Capital expenditure outlook still in line with initial forecasts.

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  • Bank of Queensland (BOQ) – Jon Sutton, Managing Director & CEO has resigned to focus on his longterm health following a heart operation earlier this year. Anthony Rose (current Chief Operating Officer) will be interim CEO while a national and international executive search is completed
  • ASX – Monthly report
  • Trade ME Group (TME) – New bid from Hellman &Friedman at NZ$6.45. Comes after previous bid from Apax Partners (at NZ$6.40). The Board will also engage on the H&F proposal.
  • Navitas (NVT) – Has renewed its agreement with the University of Canterbury for the conduct of pathway programs at UC International College in Christchurch, New Zealand until 10 December 2023. NVT also announced equivalent full time student units (EFTSU) growth in 3Q of 5% increase in student, bring growth in student enrolments across the first two semesters of FY19 to 5.4%.
  • Nine Entertainment (NEC) – Addressing report in The Australian today relating to the acquisition by Nine of Macquarie Media (MRN) and confirms it has had some preliminary discussions and will make a further announcement should these discussions progress to a transaction.
  • Lynas (LYC) – Review report on Malaysian operations finds s Lynas Malaysia’s operations are low risk and compliant with applicable laws. However, LYC said “We are surprised with the Ministry’s decision to impose a pre-condition that does not follow the process outlined in October, and which is inconsistent with the science, inconsistent with the expert Review Committee’s recommendations and is contrary to international best practice… However, we are confident we are well placed to manage potential changes and our long term investment thesis remains strong.”
  • CSL – R&D Investor Briefing.

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OVERNIGHT

m10m11

SPI FUTURES -75

US EQUITIES – S&P 500 -90 (-3.24%), Dow -799 (-3.10%), NASDAQ -283 (-3.80%).

Main themes

  • Markets weaker on the inversion of the 2-10 year yield curve.
  • General concerns about the ability of the US and China being able to settle their major trade differences

EUROPEAN MARKETS – All lower. STOXX500 -0.76%, UK FTSE -0.56%, German DAX -1.14%, French CAC -0.82%.

CURRENCIES

  • The USD is little changed at 96.97.
  • The Aussie dollar is a bit weaker at US73.41c.

BONDS – 2-yr: UNCH at 2.82%, 3-yr: -2 bps to 2.82%, 5-yr: -3 bps to 2.80%, 10-yr: -6 bps to 2.93%, 30-yr: -9 bps to 3.18%%. The 10-2 spread has narrowed to 11 basis points, which is the narrowest spread since 2007. There has also been the inversion of the curve in the 2-5 range, which is weighing on the stock market.

COMMODITIES

  • WTI crude futures were up US30c at US$53.25, following a 4% rise on Monday on the truce in the US-China trade dispute. Other factors included expectations OPEC will reduce supply at the upcoming meeting on Thursday (expectations are for a deal to cut production by 1.3mbpd) and production cuts in Alberta, Canada. In other oil news, Within OPEC, Qatar said on Monday it would leave the producer club in January.
  • Iron Ore – IRESS reports iron ore was unchanged at US$65.00 a tonne. The CommSec site says China Import (Fines 62% Fe) was down US$1.45 or 2.5% at US$67.67 dry ton. (CFR Tianjin port)
  • LME metals – Cu +1.57%, Ni +0.45%, Al +0.82%

ECONOMIC DATA, NEWS & POLITICS

  • Trade – China said to be considering a cut to tariff rate on US auto imports to original 15% (from 40%) by end of year. President Trump tweeted on Monday that China had agreed to reduce and remove tariffs on imported cars from the US
  • Brexit – EU’s Advocate general rules the UK could unilaterally revoke Article 50 decision without the approval of all EU member states

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