The ASX 200 is up 38 points in mid-morning trade after positive offshore leads. Gold the sole drag. Banks and Materials both ↑. Kicking myself re BIN!!!. Limited news. MTS and OSH updates, GNC asset sale. Big data and ex-div week ahead. #ausbiz


  • Ex-dividend – Australian Finance Group (AFG) 4.7c, Amcor (AMC) 29.8c, Blackmores (BKL) 150.0c, Bravura Solutions (BVS) 5.3c, Credit Corp Group (CCP)36.0c, City Chic Collective (CCX) 5.0c, Collection House (CLH) 4.1c, Coronado Global Resources (CRN) 30.3c, Cleanaway Waste Management (CWY) 1.7c, Eumundi Group (EBG) 3.2c, Finbar Group (FRI) 3.0c, Flagship Investments (FSI) 4.0c, HiTech Group Australia (HIT) 4.0c, Healthscope (HSO) 3.5c, InvoCare (IVC) 19.5c, Kina Securities (KSL) 4.3c, Oohmedia (OML) 7.5c, Propel Funeral (PFP) 5.7c, Qantas Airways (QAN) 12.0c, REA Group (REA) 55.0c, Sandfire Resources (SFR) 7.0c
  • Economic data – Building Permits, Business Inventories, Company Gross Profits, ANZ Job Advertisements, CommBank Australia Services PMI Final
  • Japan – Average Cash Earnings


  • UK – Construction PMI
  • Europe – PPI
  • US economic data – Construction Spending


  • Metcash (MTS) – Market and Strategy Update. Food sales marginally higher but hardware sales are softer
  • GrainCorp (GNC) – Will sell its Australian Bulk Liquid Terminals business to ANZ Terminals Pty Ltd for a total enterprise value of approximately $350m (representing ~13.0 times EBITDA1).
  • Crown (CWN) – An extension to the construction commencement date for the proposed One Queensbridge project has been denied. Crown and Schiavello have not been able to source financing arrangements.
  • Oil Search (OSH) – Company Update. Strong production outlook for 2019; Steady progress on LNG expansion in PNG: – On target to sign PRL15 Gas Agreement by end 1Q19, Gas Agreement for PNG LNG Expansion (P’nyang) to occur shortly after, allowing contractor bidding and aligned FEED entry, First gas targeted for 2024, Market appetite remains strong for LNG from PNG; Positive results from Alaska appraisal: Potential for resource additions, Moving to FEED on Pikka Unit development, Advanced discussions on Armstrong Oil Option and equity divestment; Optimisation of oil operations underway – infield drilling opportunities being pursued; Significant resource upgrade supports growth projects; Continued focus on sustainable social development with ongoing social programmes, robust assets in carbon constrained world; Strong balance sheet and excellent cash generation from operations to support growth opportunities



  • National dwelling prices -0.7% in February to be down 6.3% for the year and -6.8% since the peak in October 2017. Price now at levels of September 2016.
  • Most home owners remain in a strong equity position (still 18% higher than 5 years ago).
  • The geographic spread of price falls is spreading
  • Estimate of national settled sales activity was down 12.8%yoy, with steeper falls in settled sales activity recorded in Sydney (-20.6%) and Melbourne (-22.1%).
  • Sydney moved to -10.4% on an annual basis and Melbourne likely to move into double digit falls at current rates.
  • Second wind of falls form Perth and Darwin. With labour market weakness a factor
  • Regional markets outperforming – the top performing regional areas continue to be regional Tasmania and the larger cities/towns surrounding Melbourne.
  • The largest declines tend to be in the more expensive half of the Sydney and Melbourne markets.
  • And the most affordable end of the housing market is holding value better than the more expensive end.
  • Falling credit growth in the owner-occupier section becoming more of an issue.
  • Other factors include higher supply (although oversupply concerns “generally confined to specific high-density precincts, and to a lesser extent, some greenfield detached housing markets), build up in stock for sale (although fresh stock down 19% yoy), fewer foreign buyers (6.5% of new housing compared to 17% in late 2014), and reduced sentitmen,
  • CoreLogic said “The February housing market results marked a subtle improvement in the rate of decline, however the housing market downturn is now more widespread geographically and we aren’t seeing any indicators pointing to the market bottoming out just yet.”



  • Global markets – US markets flat, with tech sector leading NASDAQ. Europe +0.8% but UK -1.0%. China’s markets +6.8% the best. Oil -2.3% and iron ore -4% over the week. Big moves in euro banks and sell off in bonds.


Local markets – Financials. Healthcare, and IT best sectors, Telcos and Cons Disc worst. Dividends detract from WES, BHP and TLS.



It’s a big week with lots of local and overseas data.

  • Domestically, RBA meeting, GDP (0.6%/3.3% expected), retail sales and trade data
  • US – Trade data, employment data,
  • Europe – ECB meeting and GDP (0.2%/1.2%)
  • China – Trade data on Friday and then inflation next weekend
  • Big dividends next week – BHP, QBE, S32, ASX, MPL





US EQUITIES – S&P 500 +19 (+0.69%), Dow +110 (+0.43%), NASDAQ +63 (+0.83%)

Main themes

  • Weaker economic data
  • Positive momentum on improving Chinese trade developments

EUROPEAN MARKETS – Mixed. STOXX500 +0.39%, UK FTSE +0.45%, German DAX +0.75%, French CAC +0.47%.


  • The USD is stronger at 96.44.
  • The Aussie dollar is weaker at US70.79c.

BONDS – 2-yr: +5 bps to 2.55%, 3-yr: +5 bps to 2.53%, 5-yr: +5 bps to 2.56%, 10-yr: +4 bps to 2.76%, 30-yr: +4 bps to 3.12%


  • Oil – WTI futures were down US$1.42 or 2.5% to US$55.80 on weaker US economic data
  • Iron Ore – IRESS reports iron ore unchanged at US$85.00 a tonne.
  • LME metals – Mixed. Copper -0.53%, nickel +0.88%, aluminium -0.03%


  • US economic data – Personal Income 1.0% (consensus 0.3%; prior 0.3%), Personal Spending -0.5% (consensus -0.2%; prior 0.6%), December Core PCE 0.2% (prior 0.2%), and January Personal Income -0.1% (consensus 0.3%; prior 1.0%); February ISM Manufacturing Index 54.2 (consensus 56.0; prior 56.6), and Final February Michigan Consumer Sentiment 93.8 (consensus 95.6; prior 95.5)
  • Growth estimates falling – the Atlanta Fed initial estimate for 1Q GDP is just 0.3%.
  • North Korea setback – Reports that joint military exercises with South Korea will no longer be held in an attempt to improve the relationship with North Korea.
  • Chinese equity inclusion in MSCI indices – the inclusion factor of A-Shares will be increased to 20.0% from 5.0% in three steps. This will increase the weighting of Chinese stocks in the MSCI Emerging Market Index to 3.3% from 0.7%.
  • Chinese trade news – The WTO ruled yesterday that China provided excessive support to its farmers through subsidies between 2012 and 2015.
  • European data – February Manufacturing PMI 49.3 (49.2 flash reading, expected 49.2), German January Retail Sales +3.3%mom (expected 1.9%; last -4.3%) and 2.6%yoy (last -2.1%)


“What mom cares about most is that I’m happy, healthy and enjoying my life.” – Chaz Bono, American celebrity born this day in 1969. And shouldn’t we all….


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