Interdum stultus opportuna loquitur...

Monday, December 06, 2004

A Record... and a Reversal (?...)

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An interesting day; a new record, but a weak close - and some very interesting stuff in between.

Foodland (FOA) rocketed 21.55% to $23.35 after Metcash (MTT) declared its desire to purchase FOA's Australian operations. MTT has set its bid to value the domestic operations of FOA at about $850 million; today's move in the stock price added almost half of that amount to FOA's market cap (it was $2.2 bill as of Friday afternoon - its' now $2.7 bill).

FOA Daily Chart

Any bets for what the ticket-clippers and their pimps are yelling?

Yes, that's right... "since NFD has claimed that its shares are worth 22% more than the Fonterra offer, it stands to reason that FOA's management will also try to get a higher offer from MTT".

Metcash shares were halted today, but it appears to me that they've got their sums horribly wrong. Either FOA's management are idiots who aren't running their operations properly, or the bid is far too high. Still, when managements meet merchant wankers and everybody gets deal fever, it usually turns out that no price is too high to pay. It becomes a matter of "pride", and by the end nobody is prepared to back off (just like the US in Vietnam).

MTT Daily Chart

After all, there is the inevitable requirement for both the merchant wankers and the folks who initiate the takeover - for everyone's egos to be stroked in the manner to which they feel they are owed... at shareholders expense, of course.

On the flip side of the Consumer Staples ledger, Lion Nathan (LNN, last $8.24) looked like it fell 2.74%... but the stock went ex a 15c dividend today. So although it didn't "carry" its dividend (it fell by 1c more than the divvie), it actually only fell by 1c relative to its "normal" ex-div price.

[Note - since when was booze a "staple"? Call me a prude, but if the economically indigent started agitating on the basis that they couldnt afford their tipple, I would say "let them drink sports water" - manufactured by another so-called "staple" producer... Coca Cola Amatil!!! Wankers and their sector names, eh?].

Caltex (CTX, +3.27% to $10.12) continued to improve, this time on news that its refinery margins have risen dramatically - from around A$5 a barrel to as much as A$12-13 a barrel.

Cellestis (CST, +14.47% to $3.64) was on a mad dash, as news of the FDA approval of QuantiFeron - it's TB blood test - continued to give the stock a boost (it hit $3.80 during the session). CST also announced a Share Purchase Plan... of which, more later.

Major Market Indices

The market poked its head up to a new record in the early going, led by the big banks; after getting as high as 3964.8 on the ASX200 (a new record) and 3977 in the SPI futures, something happened.

That something appears to have been Japan; the Nikkei opened weak and despite a couple of rally attempts it never recovered; the weakness in the All Ords/SPI coincided with, and moved in lock-step with, the fate of the Nikkei.

The Aussie market peaked a teensy bit earlier than the Nikkei, but it was only by 10-15 minutes - during which time the Nikkei was trying to mount its third rally attempt of the day (which failed).

Spi Intraday - 5 min Chart

Nikkei intraday - 5 min Chart

The "heavy hitters" of the Australian market - the ASX 20 Leaders - could only manage a gain of 0.50 points (0.02%), finishing at 2101.10 points. The major winners in the "big guns" were -

  • Foster's Group (FGL), +$0.08 (1.46%) to $5.55 on volume of 4.27 million shares;
  • Wesfarmers (WES), +$0.54 (1.41%) to $38.84 on volume of 1.47 million shares;
  • ANZ Bank (ANZ), +$0.18 (0.9%) to $20.15 on volume of 2.98 million shares;
  • AMP (AMP), +$0.06 (0.87%) to $6.92 on volume of 6.4 million shares; and
  • Coles Myer (CML), +$0.07 (0.7%) to $10.01 on volume of 2.31 million shares.

Meanwhile the following stocks brought up the rear:

  • Rio Tinto (RIO), -$0.50 (1.26%) to $39.20 on volume of 2.67 million shares;
  • Woolworths (WOW), -$0.18 (1.21%) to $14.75 on volume of 1.94 million shares;
  • News Corpse B (NWS), -$0.26 (1.11%) to $23.10 on volume of 2.84 million shares;
  • News Corpse A (NWSLV), -$0.21 (0.92%) to $22.64 on volume of 1.75 million shares; and
  • Commonwealth Bank (CBA), -$0.15 (0.47%) to $31.43 on volume of 2.45 million shares.
XAOAll Ordinaries3959.98.50.22%417.98m
XTLS&P/ASX 202101.10.50.02%75.6m
XFLS&P/ASX 5038748.20.21%148.11m
XTOS&P/ASX 1003207.29.20.29%253.11m
XJOS&P/ASX 2003950.5110.28%318.43m
XKOS&P/ASX 300395911.30.29%370.09m
XMDS&P/ASX Mid-Cap 503936.530.20.77%104.99m
XSOS&P/ASX Small Ordinaries2311.15.80.25%116.98m

All Ordinaries Market Internals

Advancing Volume221.06m
Declining Volume118.15m

Broad Market Internals

Total Traded Value2250-412-15.48
New 52 Week Highs601122.45
New 52 Week Lows12-1-7.69
Equity Call Option Volume29067-4265-12.8
Equity Put Option Volume26714333814.28

S&P/ASX200 GICS Sector Indices

The top sectors were led by Energy which gained 1.39% to 6969.30 points. The leaders (by percentage gain) in the sector were -

  • Caltex Aust (CTX), +$0.34 (3.47%) to $10.14 on volume of 1.19 million shares;
  • Hardman Resources (HDR), +$0.05 (3.27%) to $1.58 on volume of 6.18 million shares;
  • Santos (STO), +$0.22 (2.61%) to $8.64 on volume of 1.56 million shares;
  • Origin Energy (ORG), +$0.17 (2.5%) to $6.96 on volume of 2.87 million shares;
  • Arc Energy (ARQ), +$0.02 (1.48%) to $1.37 on volume of 482 thousand shares;

Second in the sector leadership stakes was Consumer Staples (have I mentioned that I hate that name?) which gained 0.96% to 5475.00 points. The sector leaders were -

  • Foodland (FOA), +$4.14 (21.55%) to $23.35 on volume of 1.89 million shares;
  • Futuris Corp (FCL), +$0.06 (2.86%) to $2.16 on volume of 1.7 million shares;
  • AWB (AWB), +$0.09 (1.92%) to $4.78 on volume of 500 thousand shares;
  • Foster's Group (FGL), +$0.08 (1.46%) to $5.55 on volume of 4.27 million shares;
  • National Foods (NFD), +$0.07 (1.21%) to $5.86 on volume of 1.18 million shares;

The bronze today went to Utilities which gained 0.86% to 4353.10 points. Leading the sector were -

  • Pacific Hydro (PHY), +$0.19 (5.07%) to $3.94 on volume of 1.14 million shares;
  • Aust Pipeline (APA), +$0.07 (2.24%) to $3.20 on volume of 120 thousand shares;
  • Alinta (ALN), +$0.12 (1.54%) to $7.89 on volume of 925 thousand shares;
  • Gasnet Australia (GAS), +$0.02 (0.82%) to $2.45 on volume of 112 thousand shares;
  • Aust Gas Light (AGL), +$0.09 (0.69%) to $13.15 on volume of 944 thousand shares;

The worst-performed sector today was Materials which lost 0.09% to 6552.20 points. The leaders in the sector were -

  • CSR (CSR), +$0.09 (3.44%) to $2.71 on volume of 3.21 million shares;
  • Gunns (GNS), +$0.11 (2.56%) to $4.41 on volume of 676 thousand shares;
  • Lion Select (LSG), +$0.04 (1.78%) to $2.29 on volume of 390 thousand shares;
  • Boral Limited (BLD), +$0.12 (1.74%) to $7.01 on volume of 3.06 million shares;
  • Smorgon Steel (SSX), +$0.02 (1.67%) to $1.22 on volume of 2.18 million shares;

Just in front of the last place on the sector table was Consumer Discretionary which lost 0.08% to 2357.30 points. The leaders (by percentage gain) in the sector were -

  • West Aust News (WAN), +$0.28 (3.23%) to $8.95 on volume of 218 thousand shares;
  • Unitab (UTB), +$0.24 (2.16%) to $11.35 on volume of 166 thousand shares;
  • Tabcorp Holdings (TAH), +$0.32 (1.85%) to $17.65 on volume of 1.17 million shares;
  • John Fairfax (FXJ), +$0.08 (1.84%) to $4.42 on volume of 2.69 million shares;
  • Austereo Group (AEO), +$0.03 (1.79%) to $1.71 on volume of 1.19 million shares;
CodeGICS SectorClose+/-%Volume
XSJConsumer Staples547552.20.96%25.19m
XIJInformation Technology365.52.40.66%7.39m
XXJASX200 ex Property Trusts4674.715.90.34%48.56m
XPJProperty Trusts1790.62.70.15%51.11m
XDJConsumer Discretionary2357.3-1.9-0.08%27.34m

All Ordinaries Volume Leaders

For some reason my system keeps referring to CEUCA as "ConnectEast" instead of "Bracks you lying scumbag, you knew before the election that you were going to introduce tolls, but you lied anyhow"... Limited.

FCNFalcon Minerals1.050.1516.67%28.77m
JRVJervois Mining0.0130-7.14%22.07m
OBJObj Ltd0.0290-6.45%17.74m

All Ordinaries Top Gainers

MBPMetabolic Pharma2.20.2613.4%2.99m
OECOrbital Corp0.140.0212.5%1.5m

All Ordinaries Top Losers

ADAAdacel Tech0.325-0.05-12.16%85081
VSLVision System1.11-0.08-6.72%1.28m
OTTOpen Telecommun0.28-0.02-6.67%47472
OMIOccupational Med1.3-0.09-6.47%93236

Elsewhere in the Region...

New ZealandNZSE503015.0985.630.19%22.64m
JapanNikkei 22510965.82-109.07-0.98%59817
SingaporeStraits Times2050.14-11.44-0.55%68.13m
Hong KongHang Seng14189.72-22.12-0.16%157.22m
MalaysiaKLSE Comp913.5-3.67-0.4%29.77m

Main SFE Futures Contracts

SPI04ZSPI200 Index SFE3956-5-0.13%15811
IR04Z90-day Bank Bills SFE94.730.010.01%18123
YT04Z3-yr Bond SFE95.050.050.05%54821
XT04Z10-yr Bond SFE94.780.070.07%12308