- ASX 200 up 7 to 6092 ahead of Budget.
- High +27 points – Low +0 points.
- Modest volumes and narrow range today.
- Retail sales disappoint.
- Banks and financials leading the market higher as banks run into their dividends.
- Energy stocks weaker on profit-taking. Sell signal on WPL in the short term.
- Miners positive.
- AUD hold at 75.12c
- Bitcoin higher at US$9351.
- US futures up 25.
- Asian markets higher, China up 0.76%. Japan up 0.37%.
FUTURES AND HIGHS AND LOWS
- MARCUS CALL – Fear dissipates with the US 10-year bond yield back under 3%. ‘Sell in May and Go Away’ works.
- SMALL STOCK PORTFOLIO – We talk again on the rally in KGN and selling too early. Plus, we look at a members’ suggestion for more timely updates.
- INSIDERS – Some words of wisdom from the Sage of Omaha at the recent AGM and a link to some great research on the small cap oil space.
- TRADING PORTFOLIO – No new trades. Stopped out of two trades. Two stop losses raised.
- INSIDERS 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.
- PTM +8.57% broker upgrades.
- MQG +1.73% large broker upgrades.
- GEM +5.06% continued bargain hunting.
- PDL +1.66% fund managers back in focus.
- CYB -2.30% merger with Virgin Money.
- TLS -0.92% profit-taking.
- ALL -1.99% profit-taking after good run.
- HVN -0.58% JBH -1.29% retail sales miss.
- AMP -0.24% board changes.
- AMC +2.63% broker upgrade.
- FWD -15.93% profit downgrade.
- SSG +9.20% Share buy-back notice.
- HSO +3.33% substantial shareholder emerges.
- Speculative stock of the day: Azumah Resources (AZM) +56.52% – Significant gold grades with 44m at 5.37g/t at Kunche. Appears a new high-grade ore shoot has been uncovered.
- Biggest risers –PTM, IPH, GEM, HSO, APO.
- Biggest fallers –ECX, AZJ, GWA, A2M, CIM.
- Baby Bunting (BBN -1.47%) – Earnings update. Expects FY18 EBITDA to be around $18-20m. That compares to guidance issued in November and reiterated in February of around $23 million, which was a downgrade from earlier guidance of between $25.3 million and $27 million. Due to a tuff trading conditions as competitors liquidate stock.
- Stockland (SGP +0.24%) – Confirms it has entered agreements to divest a further two assets from its commercial property portfolio for an aggregate $193.35 million.
- Clydesdale (CYB -2.30%) – The company is exploring a merger with UK’s Virgin Money in a script offer worth $2.89bn. The early proposal, which would see Clydesdale shareholders control just under two-thirds of the merged entity and Virgin shareholders controlling the remainder, is a 15% above the previous market cap of Virgin. Virgin Money said its board was reviewing the proposed deal, and there was no certainty an offer would eventuate. Clydesdale has until June 4 to announce whether it has a firm intention to make a deal. Interesting deal and one the market will take time to be sold on.
- AMP (-0.24%) – The company has bowed to pressure and made significant board changes. Non-executive directors Vanessa Wallace and Holly Kramer will step down together with Patty Akopiantz. Wallace has also resigned as chair of AMP Capital.
- Healthscope (HSO +3.33%) – Canadian healthcare landlord NorthWest Healthcare PropertiesREIT has taken a 10% interest in Australian takeover target Healthscope. The investor took the strategic interest in Healthscope via a derivative arranged by Deutsche Bank this morning at 239c a share. No physical shares have changed hands though.
BEST AND WORST
- ANZ-Roy Morgan consumer sentiment rose 0.3% to a 13-week high of 119.6 in the latest week.
- Retail Sales for March released this morning: Overall Australian retail turnover in March 2018 was relatively unchanged (0.0%) in seasonally adjusted terms, following a 0.6% rise in February 2018. Expectations for around 0.3%.
- The trend estimate for Australian retail turnover rose 0.3% in March 2018, following a rise (0.3% in February 2018). Compared to March 2017, the trend estimate rose 2.6%.
BOND MARKET UPDATE
ASIAN MARKETS NEWS
- South Korea’s Hyundai Group said it had created a task force to prepare for the possible resumption of economic projects in North Korea, after a summit between the nations fuelled hopes of exchanges between the two countries.
- Walmart is likely to announce its much-anticipated deal to buy a controlling stake in Indian e-commerce player Flipkart before the end of this week, in what is likely to be the U.S. retail giant’s biggest acquisition of a business.
EUROPE AND US MORNING HEADLINES
- Cable giant Comcast is allegedly getting prepared to make a hostile bid for 21st Century Fox’s entertainment assets.
- Snap Chief Financial Officer Drew Vollero is stepping down, leaving the social-media company that has struggled since he helped take it public last year.
- The drop in bitcoin prices from their 2017 highs is likely tied to the launch of futures contracts that allowed investors to profit from falling prices in the cryptocurrency, according to a San Francisco Fed paper.