The ASX 200 is down 8 points in mid-morning trade after a big night. Fed triple whammy (dots, growth and b/s runoff). Resources ↑, banks ↓. SIG & SOL results. FLT special ex. Jobs ahoy…I mean ahead #ausbiz
- Dividends – Anglogold (AGG) 1.5c, Auckland Airport (AIA) 10.5c, CI Resources (CII) 1.5c, Clime Investment Management (CIW) 0.8c, Countplus (CUP) 1.0c, Fletcher Building (FBU) 6.5c, Flight Centre Travel Group (FLT) 209.0c, Huon Aquaculture Group (HUO) 3.0c, Paragon Care (PGC) 1.1c, Peet (PPC) 2.0c, QMS Media (QMS) 1.0c, Xenith IP Group (XIP) 3.3c
- Economic data – Employment Change, Westpac Leading Index, Unemployment Rate
- RBA Bulletin
- UK – Retail Sales, Public Sector Net Borrowing,
- BoE Interest Rate Decision
- Europe – Consumer Confidence Flash, Philadelphia Fed Index, Current Account Balance, Leading Indicators
- Sigma Health (SIG) – Results. Underlying result ahead of latest guidance; Other Revenue up 19% to almost $100m; High dividend payout ratio maintained to benefit shareholders; Investment cycle well advanced and will deliver step change in operations (efficiency and costs); Transformation program underway with over $100 million efficiency gains identified as a standalone business. Sigma confirms guidance of $55-60 million EBITDA for FY20.
- Navitas (NVT) – SAE Education Limited (SAE UK) has been successful in its appeal with the Supreme Court regarding SAE UK’s VAT exemption status. It upheld the First Tier Tribunal’s finding that SAE UK was entitled to VAT exemption on and from May 2009.
- Brickworks (BKW) –
- Soul Pattinson (SOL) – Regular profit after tax* of $186.7m, up 12.2%. Attributable to: New Hope Corporation up 27.3% due to higher coal prices and increased volumes from Bengalla; and Brickworks up 73.7%, driven by very strong property earnings, which were partly offset by: Round Oak Minerals, due to significant start-up costs and expenses associated with the development of various projects. Outlook – “We are quite cautious at the moment with asset prices remaining high while some early warning signs are emerging with respect to consumer sentiment and economic activity…However, we expect the performance of thermal coal, telecommunications subscriptions and property to continue to perform even if general market conditions soften.”
SPI FUTURES -12
US EQUITIES – S&P 500 -8 (-0.29%), Dow -142 (-0.55%), NASDAQ +5 (+0.07%)
- Trifecta of dovishness from the FED – Dot plot changed to reflect no rate hikes in 2019. FOMC lowered its 2019 GDP growth forecast to 1.9%-2.2% from 2.3%-2.5% forecast in December. Also signalled that the balance sheet runoff will slow in May and end in September.
EUROPEAN MARKETS – Mostly lower. STOXX500 -0.90%, UK FTSE -0.45%, German DAX -1.57%, French CAC -0.80%.
- The USD is lower at 96.00
- The Aussie dollar is stronger at US71.16.
BONDS – 2-yr: -6 bps to 2.40%, 3-yr: -8 bps to 2.34%, 5-yr: -9 bps to 2.34%, 10-yr: -8 bps to 2.54%, 30-yr: -5 bps to 2.98%
- Oil – WTI futures were up US80c to US$59.83. Crude inventories fell by 9.6mb in the last week (exp +309,000 barrels).
- Iron Ore – IRESS reports that iron ores was unchanged at US$89.00. CommSec reports iron ore was down US$2.90 or 3.3% to U$84.05.
- LME metals – Mixed. Copper +0.57%, nickel +1.41%, aluminium -0.05%
ECONOMIC DATA, NEWS & POLITICS
- US economic data – Weekly MBA Mortgage Index (actual 1.6%; prior 2.3%)
- Weaker than expected earnings and guidance from FedEx support fears of slowing growth
- Chinese trade – President Trump said the US is likely to keep tariffs on imports from China until China complies with the terms of the trade deal.
- Chinese growth – Reports the People’s Bank of China may lower the reserve requirement ratio during the second quarter.
- UBS CEO Sergio Ermotti said investment banking revenue was down about 33%yoy in 1Q, adding that the operating environment was the toughest seen in years.
- BMW warned that its 2019 earnings will be “well below” last year’s results.
- Brexit – British PM Theresa May officially requested to push the Brexit date back to June 30. European Council President Donald Tusk said a short extension could be allowed, but it would be conditional on the UK House of Commons voting in favour of a deal.