The ASX 200 is up 30 points in mid-morning trade, with most sectors up apart from Materials & Energy. Results season officially over but a few stragglers. FNP guidance disappoints after hours. Divs still dominate. Big week with RBA meeting, GDP and retail sales. #ausbiz
- Ex-dividend – Argo Global Listed Infrastructure (ALI) 2.5c, Altium (ALU) 16.0c, Bendigo Adelaide Bnk (BEN) 35.0c, Bingo Industries (BIN) 1.7c, Boral (BLD) 13.0c, Beacon Lighting Group (BLX) 2.6c, BlueScope Steel (BSL) 6.0c, Caltex (CTX) 61.0c, Genworth Mortgage Insurance Australia (GMA) 9.0c, Integral Diagnostics (IDX) 5.0c, Infomedia (IFM) 1.8c, LendLease (LLC) 12.0c, McPherson’s (MCP) 6.0c, Mystate (MYS) 14.3c, NB Global Corporate Income Trust (NBI) 0.9c, Origin Energy (ORG) 10.0c, Southern Cross Media (SXL) 3.8c
- Economic data – AIG Manufacturing Index, CommBank Australia Manufacturing PMI Final
- Chinese – Caixin Manufacturing PMI
- Japanese – Unemployment, Nikkei manufacturing PMI and Consumer Confidence
- European – Markit Manufacturing PMI Final, Inflation and Unemployment
- UK data – Credit data and Markit/CIPS Manufacturing PMI
- US Economic data – Personal Income and Spending, Core PCE, ISM manufacturing Index, Uni of Michigan Sentiment Index
- Freedom Foods (FNP) – Net Sales increased 31.0% to $209.0 million; Gross Margin rose $14.5 million to $51.7 million, with margins increasing to 24.7% from 23.3%; Operating EBDITA gained 31.2% to $21.0 million. EBDITA margins for the period remained steady at 10% as the Group progresses through a major upgrade of equipment and processes; Operating net profit increased 27.6% to $6.4 million, statutory net profit rose 26.4% to $3.7 million; Interim dividend steady at 2.25 cents per share. “The 1st half sales and earnings results did not materially benefit from the key capital expenditure initiatives undertaken since March 2018.” Outlook – expects net sales revenue in FY 2019 to be in the lower end of the range of $500 – $530 million advised in July 2018, a substantial increase on FY 2018 sales revenue of $353 million.
SPI FUTURES +6
US EQUITIES – S&P 500 -8 (-0.28%), Dow -69 (-0.27%), NASDAQ -22 (-0.29%)
- GDP estimate +2.6% (consensus 2.3%)
- Chinese manufacturing data disappointing
EUROPEAN MARKETS – Mixed. STOXX500 +0.06%, UK FTSE -0.46%, German DAX +0.25%, French CAC +0.29%.
- The USD is stronger at 96.20.
- The Aussie dollar is weaker at US70.957c.
BONDS – 2-yr: -1 bp to 2.50%, 3-yr: +1 bp to 2.48%, 5-yr: +2 bps to 2.51%, 10-yr: +2 bps to 2.71%, 30-yr: +1 bp to 3.08%
- Oil – WTI futures were up US28c or 0.5% to US$57.22 after the Saudi oil minister dismissed pressure from Trump to wind back production cuts
- Iron Ore – IRESS reports iron ore unchanged at US$85.00 a tonne. CommSec reports iron ore rose US$1.50 or 1.8% to US$84.80 a tonne.
- LME metals – Mixed. Copper -0.58%, nickel -0.00%, aluminium -0.73%
ECONOMIC DATA, NEWS & POLITICS
- US economic data – Q4 GDP – Advance 2.6% (consensus 2.3%; prior 3.4%), Q4 GDP Deflator – Advance 1.8% (consensus 1.7%; prior 1.8%), weekly Initial Claims 225K (consensus 221K; prior 217K), and Continuing Claims 1805K (prior 1726K); February Chicago PMI 64.7 (consensus 57.5; prior 56.7). It is estimated that real GDP increased 2.9% in 2018 (from 2.2% in 2017). From 4Q2017 to 4Q2018, real GDP increased 3.1%. Supports the view that the US held up relatively well in 4Q despite the stock market volatility.
- Fed Speak – Vice Chair Richard Clarida said the Fed continues expecting solid growth in 2019 and that it is entering a period when it will be “especially” dependent on incoming data.