MID MORNING MARKETS 22-03-19

The ASX 200 is up 33 points in mid-morning trade after a +ve night. SBM dragging down Gold but all other sectors ↑. H/care and IT lead. PMV results. Quiet next week. #ausbiz

m1m2m3TODAY

  • Australian Economic Data – CBA Manufacturing PMI Flash, CBA Services PMI Flash, CBA Composite PMI Flash
  • Japan – Inflation Rate, Nikkei Manufacturing PMI Flash

TONIGHT

  • European data – Markit Composite PMI Flash, Current Account, Markit Manufacturing PMI Flash, Markit Services PMI Flash
  • US data – Existing Home Sales, Treasury Budget

COMPANY NEWS

  • Transurban Group (TCL) The West Gate! Tunnel (Truck Bans and Traffic Management) Bill 2019 to support the! tolling and operation of the West Gate Tunnel Project has both houses of parliament. The legislation provies for a concession end date for the West Gate Tunnel of 13 January 2045.
  • Premier Investment (PMV) – NPAT +13.0% to $88.8m, interim div of 33c (up 13.8%, EBIT +11.1% to $113.9m, Sales up 8.0%, Apparel brands up 7.5%, online sales up 35.2% to $75.7m and contributed 12.9% of 1H sales. Smiggle sales of $178.8m. New partnerships with leading iconic retailers via wholesale and online channels, providing significant new exposure of the brand to a combined population over 775 million in ten additional countries. Peter Alexander sales up 14.1% to $130.4m with the 2020 Growth Plan tracking well ahead of expectations. BS includes equity accounted value of $238.9m for its holdings in Breville Group (BRG) which is worth $602.6m.
  • Suncorp (SUN) – Special dividend of 8c following the sale of its life business to TAL Dai-ichi Life Australia. Ex-date of 1 APil, payment date of 3 MAy
  • St Barbara Mines (SBM) – Has completed the feasibility study for the ‘Gwalia Mass Extraction’ (GMX) project. Also updated guidance. Production for FY19 is now anticipated to be between 235,000 and 240,000 ounces (previously 245,000 to 255,000 ounces) at an AISC between A$980 to A$1,000 per ounce (previously A$930 to A$970 per ounce).

NEXT WEEK

  • Very quiet domestically
  • Chinese industrial profits (Wednesday)
  • UK – GDP
  • US – 3rd estimate of GDP, lots of housing data (housing starts, building permits, FHFA housing price index), pending home sales), PCE price index

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RBA speech on “Property, Debt & Financial Stability”

Michele Bulluck spoke at the Urban Development Institute of Australia in Perth. The link to the full speech is here. Some key takeaways…

  • Brisbane apartments are 10% below their 2008 prices. Perth apartments are 20% below.

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  • In Sydney there have been more than 80,000 apartments completed over the past few years adding roughly 5% to housing stock in Sydney. Melbourne and Brisbane have also seen relatively large additions to the supply of apartments. “The second risk is to developers who are delivering completed apartments into the cooling market. If people who had pre-purchased are having difficulty getting finance, or decide it is not worth going ahead with the purchase, there would be increasing settlement failures. Developers would be left holding completed apartments, reducing their cash flow and their ability to service their loans, and impacting banks’ balance sheets. Currently, the risks here appear to be elevated but contained.”

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  • Special mention for Perth. “This has clearly been a difficult time for many homeowners in Western Australia. There are some households that are having difficulty meeting repayments, as evidenced by a rising arrears rate in Western Australia (Graph 8). At this stage, however, the losses are not large enough to threaten the stability of the financial sector. We nevertheless continue to monitor the situation for any potential systemic impacts.”

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OVERNIGHT

m10m11

SPI FUTURES +42

US EQUITIES – S&P 500 +31 (+1.09%), Dow +217 (+0.84%), NASDAQ +110 (+1.42%)

Main themes

Tech stocks outperformed – Apple +3.68%

EUROPEAN MARKETS – Mostly lower. STOXX500 -0.90%, UK FTSE -0.45%, German DAX -1.57%, French CAC -0.80%.

CURRENCIES

  • The USD is stronger at 96.34
  • The Aussie dollar is little changed at US71.14.

BONDS – 2-yr: UNCH at 2.40%, 3-yr: UNCH at 2.34%, 5-yr: +1 bp to 2.34%, 10-yr: UNCH at 2.54%, 30-yr: -1 bp to 2.96%

COMMODITIES

  • Oil – WTI futures were down US25c to US$59.98. Estimates from JBC Energy that global stockpiles are down 40mb since January due to OPEC supply cuts. OPEC production was 30.7mbpd in February, down from 32.8mbpd in mid 2018.
  • Iron Ore – IRESS reports that iron ore was down US$2 at US$87.00. CommSec reports iron ore was up US5c or 0.1% to U$84.15.
  • LME metals – Mostly lower. Copper -0.59%, nickel -1.99%, aluminium -1.58%

ECONOMIC DATA, NEWS & POLITICS

  • US economic data – Weekly Initial Claims 221,000 (consensus 223,000; prior 230,000), Continuing Claims 1.750m (prior 1.777m), March Philadelphia Fed Survey 13.7 (consensus 6.0; prior -4.1); February Leading Indicators 0.2% (consensus 0.2%; prior 0.0%)
  • Norway’s central bank, Norges Bank, raised its key policy rate to 1.00% from 0.75% as expected due to Norway’s solid economic growth and rising oil prices.
  • The Swiss National Bank left its SARON at -0.75%, as expected.
  • The Bank of England left its Bank rate at 0.75% and kept its asset purchasing program at £435bn, as expected.
  • Bloomberg reported that the EU will consider a nine-month Brexit extension if British Prime Minister Theresa May’s plan is not approved by British lawmakers next week.
  • UK economic data – February Retail Sales +0.4% (expected -0.4%; last 0.9%) or 4.0%yoy (expected 3.3%; last 4.1%). February Core Retail Sales +0.2% (expected -0.4%; last 1.1%) or 3.8%yoy (expected 3.3%; last 4.0%).
  • Employment data yesterday – Missed expectations, with a fall in full time and a drop in the participation rate.

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