- ASX 200 down 15 to 6060.
- High 6082 Low 6054.
- Sector performances were mixed – but it was miners (again) that outperformed.
- All banks were down.
- AUD down 0.16% to 76.57c.
- Dow Futures up 3.
- Asian mostly in positive territory – Hang Seng up 0.50%, Nikkei up 0.10%, Shanghai up +0.43%.
FUTURES AND HIGHS AND LOWS
- MARCUS CALL – The PLAN FOR 2018.
- TRADING PORTFOLIO – One trade stopped out (we were whiplashed) and three stop losses raised.
- SMALL STOCK PORTFOLIO – Newly acquired BYE performing well. PLS gets a couple of broker downgrades.
- INSIDERS – A link to the leaderboard will feature in Saturday’s newsletter.
- CONNECT WITH US – We invite you to send us your own stock ideas. We also have the facility for you to email us any questions. Click on the "Ask Marcus Today" button in the newsletter or below – Ask us anything:
ADVANCERS V DECLINERS
- BSL +4.28% ups earnings guidance.
- MIN +4.41% acquisition of AWE.
- ORG +2.18% new gas sales agreement.
- OZL +0.09% consolidates Carrapateena district.
- ANZ -0.58% response to OIO decision
- ANN -0.24% US tax change update.
- DLX -1.02% on AGM.
- BUB -0.70% completes acquisition of Nulac Foods.
- MSB +0.69% receives RMAT for heart failure patients.
- TAH -0.54% appoints leadership team.
- AWE -2.84% acquired by MIN.
- Biggest Risers: GTG, ENX, HAR, RFG, EOR, SAS, LNU.
- Biggest Fallers: TPO, AAU, FCR, MXR, AYM, KTE, RD1.
BEST AND WORST
- AWE Limited (AWE) –2.84% Agreed to Mineral Resources takeover offer from Mineral Resources for 83c a share, valuing the company at A$526m. That marks a 52% premium to the closing price for AWE’s shares ahead of an offer in late November from state-owned China Energy Reserve & Chemicals Group Co. AWE said shareholders will receive A$0.415 in cash and between 0.0198 and 0.0277 of a Mineral Resources share for each AWE share, but could opt to receive all cash or all stock. Earlier in the month, Mineral Resources had approached the energy company with an all-stock offer worth A$0.80 a share. This week, AWE raised the estimated proved reserve at the Waitsia find by 80% to 820 petajoules gross and flagged further prospective resources in the field. It also said the Casino Henry venture, led by Cooper Energy Ltd. (COE.AU), had secured a sales agreement with Origin Energy Ltd. (ORG.AU) for all gas produced from March through the end of the year that replaces an expiring supply deal with another utility.
- BlueScope Steel (BSL) +4.28% Increased guidance at its AGM this morning reflecting higher steel prices and volumes. Expects 1H Underlying EBIT to be circa A$460m – up from A$420 m. The company said its earnings boost came from higher Australian steel prices and volumes. It said Steel-Market conditions were positive, but sees a rise in raw-material costs and continued competition from imports as challenges ahead. US earnings will benefit from tax reform, BSL said.
- Retail Food Group (RFG) +32.31% Up 3.6% after paring 63% of its market cap post scathing media regarding its business model.
- Ansell (ANN) -0.24% Ansell expects us tax overhaul to lift profit about $3m-$5m a year from FY19. Now expects group effective tax rate to remain at current level through FY20.
- Beach Energy (BPT) +3.57% Has announced it will acquire further interests it the Otway (OGP) and BassGass projects. BPT said it will buy Toyota Tsusho’s 5% stake in Otway, and 11.25% in BassGas Projects. The acquisition will be funded in cash from the company’s existing cash reserves – for now, the price remains confidential and subject to conditions. Assuming successful, completion is expected early 2018. The acquisition gives BPT full control of OGP which the company says will allow it to "optimise future work programs efficiently as it progress with the next phase of activities in the region".
- The Bank of Japan kept monetary policy steady today despite growing signs of strength in the economy, signalling that it was in no rush to edge away from crisis-mode stimulus with inflation still distant from its 2% target.
- More than 300 large dry cargo ships are having to wait outside Chinese and Australian ports in a maritime traffic jam that spotlights bottlenecks in China’s huge and global commodity supply chain as demand peaks this winter.
EUROPE AND US MORNING HEADLINES
- Prime Minister Theresa May said she would permit a delay to Britain’s departure from the EU in exceptional circumstances, bowing to criticism from her own party over the government’s plan to fix the exit date in law.
- British consumer sentiment fell to its lowest level in four years this month as inflation-squeezed households took a gloomier view of their personal finances, a long-running survey showed today.