|SPI Overnight (Jun)||6330.00||+ 9.00||0.14%|
|S&P ASX 200||6338.40||– 37.50||– 0.59%|
|S&P500||2917.52||– 6.21||– 0.21%|
|Nasdaq Comp||8036.77||– 12.87||– 0.16%|
|DJIA||26307.79||– 122.35||– 0.46%|
|S&P500 VIX||14.42||– 0.38||– 2.57%|
|US 10-year yield||2.55||+ 0.04||1.63%|
|USD Index||97.84||+ 0.19||0.19%|
|FTSE100||7351.31||– 33.95||– 0.46%|
By Greg Peel
And Back Again
What a difference a day makes. The local banks were all heroes on Wednesday following ANZ Bank’s ((ANZ)) not-as-bad-as-feared result and yesterday they were all being sold off again following National Bank’s ((NAB)) result.
NAB’s earnings numbers were no surprise, a dividend cut had long been expected and NAB was only catching up to peers in announcing a further provision for remediation. Perhaps a sudden jump in loans in arrears was a warning bell, but at the end of the day, NAB shares only fell -0.3%.
ANZ fell -2.4%, wiping out Wednesday’s gains, Westpac ((WBC)) fell -2.6% and Commonwealth Bank ((CBA)) fell -0.8%. After two sessions it’s as if nothing ever happened. Maybe we can put day one down to short covering.
It didn’t get any better for the financials sector as a whole either. Seems money is flowing out of the major fund managers at a rapid pace, with AMP ((AMP)) falling -2.6%, IOOF ((IFL)) -5.2% and Pendal Group ((PDL)) a chart-topping -13%, all on weak quarterly funds flows. The sector as a whole fell -1.1%.
Materials (-0.7%) fell on weaker base metal prices across the board and despite a takeover bid announcement for lithium miner Kidman Resources ((KDR)) from Wesfarmers ((WES)). Kidman shot up 45% but is not in the ASX200. However, all battery-related boats were floated with Pilbara Minerals ((PLS)) rising 9.1%, Orocobre ((ORE)) 5.5% and Syrah Resources ((SYR)) 4.2% against the tide.
Note that all battery-related mining stocks are among the most shorted on the ASX.
Energy (-0.8%) had another bad session yesterday and it may get worse today, with oil prices down -3% overnight. Healthcare (0.5%) was the only shining light, putting in yet another slow-and-steady rally. Healthcare, staples and utilities all closed in the green, suggesting a defensive bias.
We note that at the time of writing, the Aussie has slipped under 70 – just. This provides support for the big healthcare names.
Interestingly, the futures are up 9 points this morning yet Wall Street is down again and oil prices have taken quite a tumble. Bearing in mind we’ve now gone -30, +50, -40 in three sessions, what might Friday bring?
The retreat from new all-time highs that began on Wall Street late in Wednesday night’s session following Jerome Powell’s press conference continued last night, although it’s hardly a case of panic.
If we consider that the US energy sector was the biggest drag, and that was all about a -3% fall in oil prices, then the pullback is more orderly than aggressive. Oil prices fell on the usual weekly US crude inventory lottery. It came up with a big build.
An earnings-related -6% fall from Dow component Dow Inc (no relation), which is the old Dow Chemical, which spun off from DowDupont after a merger, also helped add to weakness in the industrial average.
The Fed Chair used the words “transient” or “transitory” to describe low US inflation nine times in his press conference on Wednesday night, as counted by CNBC, rather driving home the assumption a Fed rate hike is not on the cards. Indeed, talk has now swung back as to when the Fed might hike again.
US productivity grew by 3.6% in the March quarter, up from 1.3% in the December quarter. Following a long run of weak numbers, the March result was the strongest in more than four years.
Productivity growth (measured as GDP per man-hour) is somewhat of a Holy Grail for an economy, as it suggests economic growth without inflation. And as we know, current low US inflation is merely transitory.
In other economic news, US factory orders rose 1.9% in March after falling -0.3% in February, when a 1.5% increase was forecast.
So amidst a flip-flopping of US data from strong to weak in recent times, last night saw a double-positive.
If a trade resolution is nigh, and news can’t be too far off, then the whole picture may change rather quickly. A Fed rate hike may well be back on the cards. But how will Wall Street respond? With the earnings season now entering its long-tail wind-down, the scores are as good as in and the season has largely done its dash as a catalyst. New highs were hit, and a pullback has possibly begun, at least until the next catalyst.
And don’t think that after two negative sessions to start the month, “Sell in May” is not once again the catch-cry.
US jobs numbers tonight, to add more fuel to the Fed fire.
|Spot Metals,Minerals & Energy Futures|
|Gold (oz)||1270.40||– 5.90||– 0.46%|
|Silver (oz)||14.60||– 0.05||– 0.34%|
|Copper (lb)||2.83||– 0.05||– 1.75%|
|Aluminium (lb)||0.81||+ 0.01||1.35%|
|Lead (lb)||0.85||+ 0.01||0.76%|
|Nickel (lb)||5.51||+ 0.01||0.18%|
|Zinc (lb)||1.29||– 0.02||– 1.37%|
|West Texas Crude||61.56||– 2.05||– 3.22%|
|Brent Crude||70.37||– 1.78||– 2.47%|
|Iron Ore (t) futures||94.60||+ 0.05||0.05%|
Falls in copper and zinc prices last night appear to have been driven by inventory builds.
The iron ore price has stalled these past couple of sessions but China is back on board today.
Gold continues to slip as the greenback continues to track higher.
The Aussie is rummaging through the wardrobe to find flares and a paisley shirt, down -0.2% at US$0.6998.
The SPI Overnight closed up 9 points.
US jobs tonight.
Japan remains closed.
Australia sees building approval numbers today, and most major centres release services PMIs.
Janus Henderson ((JHG)) holds its AGM.
The Australian share market over the past thirty days…
|BROKER RECOMMENDATION CHANGES PAST THREE TRADING DAYS|
|ANZ||ANZ BANKING GROUP||Downgrade to Underperform from Neutral||Credit Suisse|
|Downgrade to Hold from Add||Morgans|
|Downgrade to Hold from Accumulate||Ord Minnett|
|BHP||BHP||Downgrade to Neutral from Buy||Citi|
|BPT||BEACH ENERGY||Downgrade to Sell from Neutral||Citi|
|DHG||DOMAIN HOLDINGS||Upgrade to Neutral from Underperform||Macquarie|
|Downgrade to Underperform from Neutral||Credit Suisse|
|Downgrade to Reduce from Hold||Morgans|
|Downgrade to Hold from Accumulate||Ord Minnett|
|FCT||FIRSTWAVE CLOUD TECHNOLOGY||Downgrade to Speculative Buy from Add||Morgans|
|IGO||INDEPENDENCE GROUP||Upgrade to Outperform from Neutral||Macquarie|
|Upgrade to Buy from Neutral||UBS|
|MGR||MIRVAC||Downgrade to Lighten from Hold||Ord Minnett|
|MGX||MOUNT GIBSON IRON||Downgrade to Sell from Neutral||Citi|
|NUF||NUFARM||Downgrade to Hold from Add||Morgans|
|OGC||OCEANAGOLD||Upgrade to Neutral from Underperform||Credit Suisse|
|ORI||ORICA||Downgrade to Neutral from Buy||UBS|
|PLS||PILBARA MINERALS||Upgrade to Hold from Lighten||Ord Minnett|
|RBL||REDBUBBLE||Downgrade to Reduce from Add||Morgans|
|REA||REA GROUP||Downgrade to Lighten from Hold||Ord Minnett|
|RRL||REGIS RESOURCES||Upgrade to Hold from Sell||Deutsche Bank|
|Upgrade to Neutral from Sell||UBS|
|SCG||SCENTRE GROUP||Downgrade to Neutral from Buy||UBS|
|SUL||SUPER RETAIL||Downgrade to Neutral from Buy||UBS|
|SXL||SOUTHERN CROSS MEDIA||Downgrade to Neutral from Buy||UBS|
|SXY||SENEX ENERGY||Downgrade to Neutral from Buy||Citi|
|VHT||VOLPARA HEALTH TECHNOLOGIES||Downgrade to Lighten from Buy||Ord Minnett|