The ASX 200 is flat in late morning trade after a crappy night with trade tensions spreading to Europe and IMF growth concerns. Gold best, Energy & Materials worst. Banks mixed. CWN bet lost, SWM sells Yahoo7 and DMP bails out the Danes. BIG boost in WBC housing sentiment and big night ahead #ausbiz


  • Economic data – Westpac Consumer Confidence Index
  • Japanese data – Bank Lending, PPI, Machinery Orders


  • UK economic data – GDP, Industrial production, manufacturing production, Balance of trade
  • ECB Meeting
  • US economic data – CPI
  • FOMC Minutes


  • Domino’s Pizza (DMP) – Will acquire the Master Franchise rights for Domino’s Pizza in Denmark and assets formerly owned by Domino’s Pizza Scandinavia A/S (DPS) for €2.5m. DFS entered administration in March. Additional growth platform. Number of European stores up to 2,850 from 2,700.
  • Seven West Media (SWM) – Seven West Media (ASX: SWM) today announced that it has finalised the sale of its 50% interest in Yahoo7 to Verizon Media. Seven, which will receive $20.75 million in cash for its shares this financial year, now fully owns and operates all of its ‘direct to consumer’ digital products.
  • Sims Metals Management (SGM) – Strategic Growth Plan.
  • Flight Centre (FLT) – Morgans Roundtable Presentation
  • Crown Resorts (CWN) – Wynn has announced that it has terminated all discussions with Crown concerning any transaction.


The housing sub-indices in the Westpac consumer confidence numbers out today are fantastic. The house price expectations number up 11.9% (although still down 27% over the year) but people increasingly comfortable in buying a house…

This is the commentary from Westpac: “Sentiment around housing improved in April. The ‘time to buy a dwelling’ index rose a further 2.4% to 119.4 in April, a four year high. The index has now risen 33% from its mid-2017 low and is back around its long run average of 120. Improving affordability continues to see a lift in buyer sentiment in NSW and Victoria although in both cases there is still some way to go before buyer sentiment returns to long run average levels.

More surprisingly, the Westpac-Melbourne Institute Index of House Price Expectations posted a strong 11.9% rise to 95.6 in April, boosted by a sharp increase in New South Wales. The Index is coming off a March reading that was the lowest level since we began compiling this index in 2009.”





US EQUITIES – S&P 500 -18 (-0.61%), Dow -190 (-0.72%), NASDAQ -45 (-0.56%)

Main themes

  • Trade tensions with Europe – The White House proposed tariffs on $11 billion of EU products
  • IMF lowered world growth outlook for 2019 but sees an increase in 2020 and raise its Chinese outlook
  • Caution ahead of results – J.P. Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo this week, Citigroup, Bank of America and BlackRock next week.

EUROPEAN MARKETS – All lower of US trade threat. STOXX600 -0.47%, UK FTSE -0.35%, German DAX -0.94%, French CAC -0.65%.


  • The USD is little changed at 97.02
  • The Aussie dollar is a touch weaker at US71.25.

BONDS – 2-yr: -3 bps to 2.33%, 3-yr: -3 bps to 2.28%, 5-yr: -3 bps to 2.30%, 10-yr: -3 bps to 2.49%, 30-yr: -3 bps to 2.90%


  • Oil – WTI futures closed down US42c at US$63.98 a barrel after Russia suggests it will increase output when OPEC meets in June
  • Gold futures on the highs of the week, up US$6.50 or 0.50% to US$1,308.30/oz
  • Iron Ore – IRESS reports that iron ore was unchanged at $93.50. CommSec reports iron ore was down US$1.65 or 1.7% to U$93.40.
  • LME metals – Mixed. Copper -0.05%, nickel +0.19%, aluminium +0.45%


  • Global growth – IMF lowered its 2019 global growth outlook to 3.3% from 3.5%, the weakest since 2009: US forecast lowered to 2.3% from 2.5%, eurozone forecast cut to 1.3% from 1.6%, but China forecast increased to 6.3% from 6.2%.Australia will slow from 2.8% growth last year to 2.1% in 2019 (forecast down 0.7% since the December forecast)..
  • US economic data – NFIB Small Business Optimism Index 101.8 (prior 101.7), JOLTS — Job Openings 7.087m (prior 7.625m);
  • Trade negotiations – The EC pushed back against the U.S. request for $11 bln in tariff countermeasures over aircraft subsidies, calling the amount “greatly exaggerated.”
  • Japan – Trade talks with the US will begin early next week. There has also been growing speculation that Japan may delay its sales tax increase, which is currently planned for October.
  • Brexit – British Prime Minister Theresa May will meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron today to discuss another extension of Article 50. Reports suggest that an extension will be offered, but the UK will need to give up its voice in future EU budget and trade talks.
  • European data – Italian Retail Sales +0.1% (last 0.6%) and 0.9%yoy (last 1.2%) in February.

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