The ASX 200 is down 23 points in late morning trade after mixed leads. Gold only +ve. Banks mixed, resources lower. CTD confirm M&A interest, SIG rejects API, WBC sentiment today. Brexit a mess #ausbiz



  • Ex-dividend – Adacel Tech. (ADA) 1.0c, Costa Group Holdings (CGC) 5.0c, CSL 120.3c, GR Engineering Services (GNG) 4.0c, HUB24 (HUB) 2.0c, IVE Group )IGL) 8.6c, Inghams Group (ING) 9.0c, Mercury NZ (MCY) 6.0c, Northern Star Resources (NST) 6.0c, PM Capital Asian Opportunities Fund (PAF) 2.0c, Regis Healthcare (REG) 8.1c, Vitalharvest Freehold Trust (VTH) 4.0c
  • Economic data – Westpac Consumer Confidence Index
  • Japanese data – PPI, Machinery Orders
  • Chinese data – Vehicle Sales


  • European – Industrial Production
  • UK – Spring Budget 2019
  • US economic data – PPI, Core PPI


  • Corporate Travel (CTD) – Continues to evaluate a number of potential acquisition targets and confirms that it has had preliminary discussions with Capita regarding its travel businesses. These have been early stage discussions and there is no certainty as to whether a transaction will be agreed nor as to the terms or timing. In this regard CTM, has not contemplated undertaking any acquisition this financial year.
  • GPT Group (GPT)/Dexus (DXS) – GPT will sell its 50% share in the MLC Centre to Dexus (DXS) and Dexus Wholesale Property Fund (DWPF)
  • Amcor (AMC) – Progress in transaction. Scheme booklet and Registration Statement on Form S-4 expected to be made publicly available today; Bemis and Amcor shareholder meetings scheduled for Thursday 2 May 2019; Combination is unanimously recommended by the Boards of Directors of both companies; and Amcor Board of Directors and Senior Leadership appointments announced.
  • Sigma Health (SIG) – The Sigma board has concluded that the API Proposal is not in the best interests of Sigma shareholders.




US EQUITIES – S&P 500 +8 (+0.30%), Dow -96 (-0.38%), NASDAQ +33 (+0.44%)

Main themes

  • Positive reaction to the mild US CPI report (0.2% and 1.6% yoy)
  • Dow underperforms, driven by Boeing (-7.1%). Boeing – The European aviator EASA has suspended all Boeing 737 MAX operations in Europe, following the UK, China, and Indonesia who have made similar moves.

EUROPEAN MARKETS – Mixed. STOXX500 -0.06%, UK FTSE +0.29%, German DAX -0.17%, French CAC +0.08%.


  • The USD is a lower at 97.01
  • The Aussie dollar is stronger at US70.81.

BONDS – 2-yr: -3 bps to 2.44%, 3-yr: -3 bps to 2.41%, 5-yr: -3 bps to 2.41%, 10-yr: -4 bps to 2.61%, 30-yr: -5 bps to 2.99%


  • Oil – WTI futures were up US8c at US$56.87.
  • Iron Ore – IRESS reports iron ore down US$1.50 at US$85.50 a tonne. CommSec reports iron ore was up US$2.05 or 2.5% to U$85.05.
  • LME metals – All significantly higher. Copper +0.75%, nickel +1.71%, aluminium +1.24%


  • US economic data – NFIB Small Business Optimism Index 101.7 (prior 101.2); February CPI 0.2% (consensus 0.2%; prior 0.0%) and Core CPI 0.1% (consensus 0.2%; prior 0.2%)
  • Brexit – British parliament has voted against May’s latest deal. 2-day chart below shows the volatility.


  • Trade deal – US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said that trade negotiators are “making headway” in trade talks, but there are still major issues that need to be worked out. Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin spoke with China’s Vice Premier Liu He overnight. Another vote will be held on Wednesday and Thursday respectively on whether the UK should leave the Euro block with no deal, or should request a delay to its departure, currently scheduled for March 29.
  • Japanese press speculated that Tokyo may scrap plans to invite China’s President Xi Jinping to Japan in June out of consideration for President Trump.
  • UK economic data – January GDP +0.5% (last -0.4%). January Industrial Production +0.6% (expected 0.2%; last -0.5%), but – 0.9%yoy (expected -1.3%; last -2.1%). January Manufacturing Production +0.8% (expected 0.2%; last -0.7%), but -1.1%yoy (expected -1.9%; last -2.1%)
  • Boeing – The European aviator EASA has suspended all Boeing 737 MAX operations in Europe.


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