Interdum stultus opportuna loquitur...

Thursday, April 28, 2005

OzRant: Did I Mention I Hate Brokers?...

Note - from June 24th 2009, this blog has migrated from Blogger to a self-hosted version. Click here to go straight there.

Every now and then, stuff happens that points out just how flagrantly the institutional industry toys with the markets - regulators and so on be damned. It's fine for the closing print in major regional markets to be the result of obvious tinkering, but if some dill on the Web says "Buy" without a license, ASIC rips him a new bunghole.

I suppose it ought to be obvious - since ASIC is the government's beyatch, and the government is made up of people who think that brokers are worth having lunch with. It makes me mad, even if it doesn't affect me directly...

Major Market Indices

The broad market - the ASX All Ordinaries - fell by 12.20 points (-0.31%), finishing at 3975.30 points. The index hit an intraday high of 3987.50 at 11 a.m., and its low was 3967.4 and was set at about 3:30 Sydney time. Then a very odd thing happened in the last few minutes - the All Ords stacked on half a dozen points within minutes of the closing bell. In other words, some insto played funny-buggers with the closing print - probably an 'axe' (a large option writer) making sure that some puts died worthless I've no idea of the expiration schedule for Australian derivatives, but that's the sort of crap that results in closing-print manipulation... that said, Japan did it too, so maybe there's some other reason.

Total volume traded on the ASX was 0.89 billion units, 2.4% above its 10-day average. Of the 483 stocks in the index, 216 fell while 136 managed a gain. Volume was tilted in favour of the losers by a margin of 1.9:1, with 289.79million shares traded in losers while 154.64million shares traded in they days gainers ..

The Index that forms the cash basis for the SFE's Share Price Index Futures - the S&P/ASX 200 - fell by 7.40 points (-0.18%), finishing at 4011.60 points.

The "heavy hitters" of the Australian market - the ASX 20 Leaders - rose by 1.50 points (0.07%), finishing at 2172.70 points. Think "Banks and Telstra", and you've pretty much got the day sorted. Although the headline index showed a (small) gain, it was more a result of the pattern of moves rather than a genuine 'advance' in the index. As the name implies, the index contains 20 of the biggest stocks in the market. Today, only 8 of them rose, while 11 fell and Woolworths was unchanged.

Further indicating that it was a compositional effect rather than a "fair dinkum" rise, is the fact that total volume in rising issues within the ASX20 amounted to 55.93 million units, while volume in the losers totalled 75.34 million units. The decliners won everywhere except on the final scoreboard - it is like a team that gets 40% more kicks, but fewer points on the board. Too bad...

The major winners in the "big guns" were -

  • ANZ Banking Group (ANZ), +$0.56 (2.64%) to $21.80 on volume of 13.82m shares;
  • Westpac Banking Corporation (WBC), +$0.47 (2.48%) to $19.45 on volume of 9.03m shares;
  • National Australia Bank (NAB), +$0.53 (1.83%) to $29.48 on volume of 6.09m shares;
  • Telstra Corporation (TLS), +$0.07 (1.44%) to $4.93 on volume of 13.51m shares; and
  • St George Bank (SGB), +$0.31 (1.28%) to $24.51 on volume of 1.81m shares.

The following stocks made up the biggest percentage losers in the big-guns:

  • Woodside Petroleum (WPL), -$0.94 (3.81%) to $23.75 on volume of 2.62m shares;
  • BHP Billiton (BHP), -$0.51 (3.06%) to $16.14 on volume of 34.18m shares;
  • Amcor (AMC), -$0.14 (2.09%) to $6.55 on volume of 6.17m shares;
  • AMP Limited (AMP), -$0.12 (1.76%) to $6.70 on volume of 5.89m shares; and
  • Rio Tinto (RIO), -$0.75 (1.75%) to $42.10 on volume of 4.37m shares.

At the smaller end of the market's capitalisation scale, the ASX Small Ordinaries Index fell by 4.60 points (-0.21%), finishing at 2201.20 points. The major winners in the "pop-guns" were -

  • G.U.D. Holdings (GUD), +$0.74 (13.81%) to $6.10 on volume of 688,000 shares;
  • Ventracor (VCR), +$0.08 (10.39%) to $0.85 on volume of 2.27m shares;
  • Just Group (JST), +$0.13 (5.91%) to $2.33 on volume of 1.89m shares;
  • Metabolic Pharmaceuticals (MBP), +$0.04 (5.6%) to $0.66 on volume of 265,000 shares; and
  • Coffey International (COF), +$0.11 (5.19%) to $2.23 on volume of 38,000 shares.

The losingest-little-guys for the session were (in order of decline):

  • Dragon Mining (DRA), -$0.02 (7.89%) to $0.18 on volume of 862,000 shares;
  • Silex Systems (SLX), -$0.07 (7.65%) to $0.79 on volume of 127,000 shares; and
  • Giants Reef Mining (GTM), -$0.00 (6.67%) to $0.03 on volume of 6.57m shares;
  • Agenix (AGX), -$0.02 (6.25%) to $0.30 on volume of 469,000 shares; and
  • Village Life Ltd (VLL), -$0.07 (5.26%) to $1.26 on volume of 1.5m shares.
Index Changes
XAOAll Ordinaries3975.3-12.2-0.31%2147.493
XTLS&P/ASX 202172.71.50.07%134.02m
XFLS&P/ASX 503966.6-4.1-0.1%0
XTOS&P/ASX 1003266.8-6.4-0.2%0
XJOS&P/ASX 2004011.6-7.4-0.18%464.18m
XKOS&P/ASX 3004007.8-7.8-0.19%0
XMDS&P/ASX Mid-Cap 503885.3-28-0.72%0
XSOS&P/ASX Small Ordinaries2201.2-4.6-0.21%134.18m

All Ordinaries Market Internals

Market Breadth
Advancing Volume154.64m140.08m36.98m55.93250.47
Declining Volume289.79m260.51m60.31m75.34459.58

S&P/ASX200 GICS Sector Indices

The top sector for the day was Telecommunications which gained 1.27% to 1759.20 points - in other words, Telstra went up.

  • Telstra Corporation. (TLS), +$0.07 (1.44%) to $4.93 on volume of 13.43m shares;
  • Telecom Corporation Of New Zealand (TEL), +$0.02 (0.36%) to $5.62 on volume of 1.76m shares.

Second in the sector leadership stakes was ASX200 Financials ex Property Trusts which gained 1.03% to 4957.70 points. The sector contains 27, and less than half (12) rose while 11 fell. The big banks all rose, which gives the impression of a strong sector performance. Volume was tilted in favour of the gainers by a margin of 1.8:1, with 36.45 million shares traded in gainers while 19.91 million shares changed hands in the sector's losers. The sector leaders were -

  • ANZ Banking Group (ANZ), +$0.56 (2.64%) to $21.80 on volume of 13.44m shares;
  • Record Investments (RCD), +$0.12 (2.52%) to $4.89 on volume of 511,000 shares;
  • Westpac Banking Corporation (WBC), +$0.47 (2.48%) to $19.45 on volume of 8.66m shares;
  • National Australia Bank (NAB), +$0.53 (1.83%) to $29.48 on volume of 5.96m shares; and
  • Tower (TWR), +$0.03 (1.5%) to $1.70 on volume of 490,000 shares.

The bronze today went to Financials which gained 0.76% to 4882.70 points. The sector was led by

  • ANZ Banking Group (ANZ), +$0.56 (2.64%) to $21.80 on volume of 13.44m shares;
  • Record Investments (RCD), +$0.12 (2.52%) to $4.89 on volume of 511,000 shares;
  • Westpac Banking Corporation (WBC), +$0.47 (2.48%) to $19.45 on volume of 8.66m shares;
  • National Australia Bank (NAB), +$0.53 (1.83%) to $29.48 on volume of 5.96m shares; and
  • Valad Property Group (VPG), +$0.02 (1.62%) to $1.26 on volume of 4.83m shares.

The worst-performed sector today was Information Technology which lost 2.27% to 352.30 points. Of the 7 stocks in the sector, 4 fell while 3 rose for the session. Volume was tilted in favour of the losers by a whopping margin of 16.7:1, with 10.77million shares traded in losers while just 640 thousand shares were traded in the sector's winners. The sector was dragged lower by

  • Computershare (CPU), -$0.21 (3.88%) to $5.20 on volume of 7.81m shares;
  • ERG (ERG), -$0.01 (1.92%) to $0.26 on volume of 2.1m shares;
  • Baycorp Advantage (BCA), -$0.03 (1.02%) to $2.91 on volume of 538,000 shares;
  • MYOB (MYO), -$0.01 (0.94%) to $1.05 on volume of 313,000 shares; and
  • Infomedia Ltd (IFM), +$0.01 (0.98%) to $0.52 on volume of 261,000 shares.

Just in front of last place on the sector table was Energy which lost 2.02% to 7990.10 points, thanks to the overnight drop in Crude Oil prices. So much for 'forward looking' markets (you will all know that I think that financial markets are not populated with bright people, and as such don't look forward at all... they are sideways looking, at best).

Of the 11 stocks in the sector, 8 fell while 3 managed a gain. Volume was tilted in favour of the losers by a margin of 9:1, with 19.21 million shares traded in losers while 2.15 million shares changed hands in the gainers. The sector was pulled down by

  • Oil Search (OSH), -$0.11 (4.49%) to $2.34 on volume of 8.05m shares;
  • Tap Oil (TAP), -$0.08 (4.17%) to $1.84 on volume of 793,000 shares; and
  • Woodside Petroleum (WPL), -$0.94 (3.81%) to $23.75 on volume of 2.62m shares;
  • Australian Worldwide Exploration (AWE), -$0.05 (2.63%) to $1.67 on volume of 1.38m shares; and
  • Hardman Resources (HDR), -$0.05 (2.51%) to $1.75 on volume of 2.55m shares.
Sector Indices
CodeGICS SectorClose+/-%Volume
XXJASX200 Financials ex Property Trusts4957.750.41.03%72.8m
XPJProperty Trusts1762.9-2.8-0.16%67.75m
XSJConsumer Staples5348.6-11.3-0.21%35.54m
XDJConsumer Discretionary2075.2-12.1-0.58%45.11m
XIJInformation Technology352.3-8.2-2.27%11.41m

All Ordinaries Major Movers

All Ords Volume Leaders
BHPBHP Billiton16.14-0.51-3.06%33.89m
LHGLihir Gold1-0.07-6.1%14.24m
ANZAustralia And New Zealand Banking Group21.80.562.64%13.44m
TLSTelstra Corporation.4.930.071.44%13.43m
MAPMacquarie Airports3.380.082.42%13.43m
SBMSt Barbara Mines0.1200%13.19m

All Ords Percentage Gainers
GUDG.U.D. Holdings6.10.7413.81%687808
PBTPrana Biotechnology0.170.0213.79%804600
JSTJust Group2.330.135.91%1.89m
MBPMetabolic Pharmaceuticals0.660.045.6%264620

All Ords Percentage Decliners
MSTMetal Storm0.14-0.02-12.5%2.06m
BOCBougainville Copper0.95-0.11-10%73597
UNWUnwired Group0.38-0.04-8.43%459855
GFDGreen's Foods0.58-0.05-7.94%202963
DRADragon Mining0.18-0.02-7.89%862241

Elsewhere in the Region...

After opening under 11,000, Japan's Nikkei 225 dipped to 10892.71 points by 10:20 Tokyo time, then started to rally. By the close it was up 3.48 points (0.03%), closing at 11008.9 points - also its session high. The index spent a good deal of the day under 11000. As with the Australian market, there was a very suspicious uptick in the last five minutes, which saw the Japanese market rocket over 50 points in the very closing stages of the session. Dodgy as...

The Kiwi Market advanced 9.76 points (0.33%). It was another day of utter tedium in the markets on the Land of the Long White Cloud - the day's range only barely managed to hit double digits. The index hit a high of 2972.384 during the session, after briefly dipping to 2958.573 points early in the session.

A total of 21 stocks within the NZSE50 rose, with volume in advancers totalling 6.7million units. Decliners numbered 21, and total volume traded in losers was 12.5million shares. Individual stocks that rose included...

  • APN News & Media (APN), +NZ$0.34 (7.08%) to NZ$5.14 on volume of 303,000 shares;
  • Sky Network Television (SKY), +NZ$0.23 (3.73%) to NZ$6.40 on volume of 83,000 shares;
  • Freightways (FRE), +NZ$0.08 (3.05%) to NZ$2.70 on volume of 374,000 shares;
  • Trustpower (TPW), +NZ$0.15 (2.94%) to NZ$5.25 on volume of 17,000 shares;
  • Restaurant Brands (RBD), +NZ$0.03 (2.33%) to NZ$1.32 on volume of 421,000 shares; and
  • ANZ Banking Group (ANZ), +NZ$0.49 (2.16%) to NZ$23.20 on volume of 70,000 shares.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index advanced 51.72 points (0.37%) to 13891.36 points. The index surged in the first half-hour, from an opening level (and session low) of about 13813.68 to a high of 13907.54 in just twenty minutes. Once the session's range had been set, it was just sideways into lunch (it's still at lunch as I write)..

Within the Hang Seng, 25 index components rose, while 3 stocks fell. Volume in the gainers in Hong Kong's big-cap index totalled 99 million units, and total volume traded in losers was 32.1 million shares. Individual stocks that contributed to the advance included...

  • Yue Yuen Industries (0551), +HK$0.65 (3.1%) to HK$21.60 on volume of 1.85m shares;
  • Henderson Investment (0097), +HK$0.20 (1.83%) to HK$11.10 on volume of 912,000 shares;
  • China Merchant Holdings (0144), +HK$0.25 (1.64%) to HK$15.50 on volume of 1.42m shares;
  • Li & Fung (0494), +HK$0.20 (1.34%) to HK$15.10 on volume of 4.07m shares;
  • China Mobile (0941), +HK$0.30 (1.14%) to HK$26.65 on volume of 16.6m shares; and
  • PCCW (0008), +HK$0.05 (1.1%) to HK$4.60 on volume of 11.63m shares.
Regional Indices
New ZealandNZSE502968.3299.760.33%20.14m
JapanNikkei 22511008.93.480.03%105619
SingaporeStraits Times2136.35-8.99-0.42%0
Hong KongHang Seng13891.3651.720.37%145.17m
MalaysiaKLSE Comp874.361.910.22%0