Interdum stultus opportuna loquitur...

Thursday, April 14, 2005

OzRant: Ensign - My Brown Corduroys, Please...

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Major Market Indices

Well, it finally gave way - 4100 broke, did so decisively, and on a volume uptick (although volume has been lamentably low lately).

The broad market - the ASX All Ordinaries - fell by 51.70 points (-1.26%), finishing at 4063.30 points. The index hit an intraday high of 4115.00 at the open and fell sharply in the first hour, when it lost 90% of its total loss for the session. From about noon onwards it was a sideways sort of affair, until a little bump downward at 3:30 saw the index set its session low at 4060.2 points... from there is was just stagnant into the close.

Total volume traded on the ASX was 919 million units, 2.0% above its 10-day average - but the 10-day average was nothing to write home about (it's fallen from 1.2billion a month ago to just under 900 million today). Of the 483 stocks in the sector, 307 fell while 71 managed a gain. Volume was tilted in favour of the losers by a margin of 2.4:1, with 373.33 million shares traded in losers while 158.57 million shares traded in gainers .

The Index that forms the cash basis for the SFE's Share Price Index Futures - the S&P/ASX 200 - fell by 52.70 points (-1.27%), finishing at 4082.30 points.

The "heavy hitters" of the Australian market - the ASX 20 Leaders - fell by 31.40 points (-1.41%), finishing at 2201.00 points. Within the index members, there were 4 that rose, and 16 losers. Total volume in rising issues within the ASX20 amounted to 23m units while volume in the losers totalled 98.35m units.

The major winners in the "big guns" were -

  • AMP Limited (AMP), +$0.16 (2.4%) to $6.84 on volume of 12.33m shares;
  • Amcor (AMC), +$0.09 (1.3%) to $6.99 on volume of 3.11m shares;
  • Foster's Group (FGL), +$0.06 (1.14%) to $5.32 on volume of 3.03m shares; and
  • Westfield Group (WDC), +$0.05 (0.31%) to $16.15 on volume of 4.53m shares.

The big resources and energy stocks were the most adversely affected (in percentage terms) following overnight falls in base metals prices (and of course the ongoing nuffie-slaughter in the Energy sector). These saw BHP, Woodside and Rio Tinto cop a bit of a hammering - but to put it frankly the market's been due for a hiding for a while now. The key question is whether or not this pullback "sticks" and develops into the 10-15% drop that I've been expecting since the index first got through 4000.

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

  • BHP Billiton (BHP), -$0.76 (4.2%) to $17.33 on volume of 26.91m shares;
  • Woodside Petroleum (WPL), -$0.96 (3.83%) to $24.12 on volume of 2.95m shares;
  • Rio Tinto (RIO), -$1.43 (3.13%) to $44.25 on volume of 3.86m shares;
  • Alumina (AWC), -$0.16 (2.59%) to $6.01 on volume of 5.17m shares; and
  • Wesfarmers (WES), -$0.85 (2.08%) to $39.95 on volume of 602,000 shares.

At the smaller end of the market's capitalisation scale, the ASX Small Ordinaries Index was not immune to the shellacking, falling by 34.20 points (-1.47%), finishing at 2289.40 points. There were still come "pop-guns" that managed a gain for the session, notably -

  • Giants Reef Mining (GTM), +$0.00 (11.76%) to $0.04 on volume of 41.11m shares;
  • Multiemedia (MUL), +$0.00 (9.52%) to $0.02 on volume of 44.36m shares;
  • Cellestis (CST), +$0.20 (6.58%) to $3.24 on volume of 403,000 shares;
  • Austal (ASB), +$0.08 (4.49%) to $1.75 on volume of 693,000 shares; and
  • GRD (GRD), +$0.05 (2.76%) to $1.86 on volume of 449,000 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 642,000 shares;
  • Primelife Corporation (PLF), -$0.09 (7.02%) to $1.13 on volume of 282,000 shares; and
  • Virotec International (VTI), -$0.04 (6.06%) to $0.62 on volume of 43,000 shares;
  • Volante Group (VGL), -$0.08 (6.02%) to $1.25 on volume of 304,000 shares; and
  • Sunland Group (SDG), -$0.11 (5.95%) to $1.74 on volume of 740,000 shares.
Index Changes
XAOAll Ordinaries4063.3-51.7-1.26%2224.982
XTLS&P/ASX 202201-31.4-1.41%121.35m
XFLS&P/ASX 504026.3-55.5-1.36%0
XTOS&P/ASX 1003318.9-42.2-1.26%0
XJOS&P/ASX 2004082.3-52.7-1.27%418.21m
XKOS&P/ASX 3004080.6-52.8-1.28%0
XMDS&P/ASX Mid-Cap 503967.1-26.5-0.66%0
XSOS&P/ASX Small Ordinaries2289.4-34.2-1.47%218.45m

All Ordinaries Market Internals

Market Breadth
Advancing Volume158.57m60.33m97.42m23336.92
Declining Volume373.33m331.38m95.37m98.35423.22

S&P/ASX200 GICS Sector Indices

The top sector for the day was Property Trusts which gained 0.46% to 1746.50 points. BORING. The sector was helped by

  • Mirvac Group (MGR), +$0.07 (1.64%) to $4.34 on volume of 5.74m shares;
  • General Property Trust (GPT), +$0.04 (1.11%) to $3.63 on volume of 3.45m shares;
  • Centro Properties Group. (CNP), +$0.05 (0.97%) to $5.18 on volume of 1.71m shares;
  • Macquarie Countrywide Trust (MCW), +$0.01 (0.56%) to $1.81 on volume of 2m shares; and
  • Macquarie Prologis Trust (MPR), +$0.01 (0.46%) to $1.09 on volume of 1.38m shares.

No silver medal today - the second-least-worst sector (Consumer Staples) dropped 0.37% to 5528.90 points.

No silver, ergo no bronze. Simple logic. The third-least-worst sector (Financials) dipped 0.65% to 4811.90 points.

The worst-performed sector today was Materials which lost 2.74% to 7011.20 points - all of the Resource majors got an absolute towelling. Of the 37 stocks in the sector, 32 fell while 4 managed a gain. Volume was tilted in favour of the losers by a margin of a whopping 16.7:1, with 111.57 million shares traded in losers while gainers only turned over 6.67million shares. The sector was dragged lower by

  • BHP Billiton (BHP), -$0.76 (4.2%) to $17.33 on volume of 26.91m shares;
  • Lion Selection Group (LSG), -$0.08 (3.88%) to $1.86 on volume of 241,000 shares; and
  • Kimberley Diamond Company. (KIM), -$0.04 (3.72%) to $1.04 on volume of 1.15m shares;
  • Orica (ORI), -$0.68 (3.68%) to $17.78 on volume of 1.5m shares; and
  • Bluescope Steel (BSL), -$0.31 (3.52%) to $8.50 on volume of 6.74m shares.

Just in front of last place on the sector table was Energy - the other big commodity complex that's copped the Gatorade Bottle of Doom recently. The sector lost 2.36% to 8043.50 points. Of the 11 stocks in the sector, not a single ticker managed a gain (and none broke even either). 11 out of 11 dropped. The volume 'tilt' is therefore undefined, since 21.00 million shares traded in losers while there was not a single share traded in gainers. The big problem was also that the big stocks in the index (WPL, primarily) fell hard as well...

  • Woodside Petroleum (WPL), -$0.96 (3.83%) to $24.12 on volume of 2.95m shares;
  • Tap Oil (TAP), -$0.08 (3.76%) to $1.92 on volume of 1.43m shares; and
  • Arc Energy (ARQ), -$0.07 (3.74%) to $1.68 on volume of 1.79m shares;
  • Roc Oil Company (ROC), -$0.06 (3.05%) to $1.75 on volume of 1.12m shares; and
  • Oil Search (OSH), -$0.06 (2.48%) to $2.36 on volume of 6.12m shares.
Sector Indices
CodeGICS SectorClose+/-%Volume
XPJProperty Trusts1746.580.46%60.61m
XSJConsumer Staples5528.9-20.5-0.37%32.34m
XXJASX200 Financials ex Property Trusts4878.5-47.6-0.97%57.4m
XDJConsumer Discretionary2205.9-26.3-1.18%47.92m
XIJInformation Technology366.7-5.5-1.48%5.19m

All Ordinaries Major Movers

All Ords Volume Leaders
BHPBHP Billiton17.33-0.76-4.2%26.91m
TLSTelstra Corporation.5.03-0.05-0.98%22.24m
WMRWMC Resources7.94-0.02-0.25%15.53m
AMPAMP Limited6.840.162.4%12.33m

All Ords Percentage Gainers
GTMGiants Reef Mining0.0380.00411.76%41.11m
TIRTitan Resources0.0680.0069.68%2.43m

All Ords Percentage Decliners
BOCBougainville Copper1.05-0.13-11.02%158636
TMOTomato Technologies0.61-0.06-8.96%248500
PBTPrana Biotechnology0.17-0.02-8.33%1.51m
DRADragon Mining0.18-0.02-7.89%642321
SPLStarpharma Holdings0.67-0.06-7.59%246864

Elsewhere in the Region...

Japan's Nikkei 225 fell was down 74.35 points (-0.64%) to close at 11563.17 points. The index hit opened at its high (so far) of 11580.55, and fell below 11500 shortly after the lunch break, registering a low for the session of 11474.82 points at 12:45 p.m. Tokyo time before mounting a pretty impressive afternoon "clawback"..

The Kiwi Market declined 10.82 points (-0.35%) and closed at 3040.83 points. The index hit a high of 3051.663 shortly after 10 a.m. Auckland time, then fell away consistently until 2:30 Auckland time, setting its low at 3034.317 points at that time, before a little rally into the close.

A total of 12 stocks within the NZSE50 rose, with volume in advancers totalling 1.9million units. Decliners numbered 28, and total volume traded in losers was 15.4million shares. Individual stocks that were a but suck included...

  • Feltex Carpets (FTX), -NZ$0.05 (5.88%) to NZ$0.80 on volume of 1.14m shares;
  • Ryman Healthcare (RYM), -NZ$0.10 (2.63%) to NZ$3.70 on volume of 24,000 shares;
  • Promina Group (PMN), -NZ$0.14 (2.5%) to NZ$5.45 on volume of 6,000 shares;
  • Steel & Tube Holdings (STU), -NZ$0.10 (2.22%) to NZ$4.40 on volume of 49,000 shares; and
  • Tower Limited Ord (TWR), -NZ$0.04 (2.07%) to NZ$1.89 on volume of 3.08m shares.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index declined 51.80 points (-0.38%). After dipping at the open to its session low of 13707 (set 10 minutes into the session, the index rebounded very sharply - n fact it set its session high of 13788.68 less than fifteen minutes after it hit its low. So within half an hour of the open, the day's range had been set; all that was left was for the market to generate a little "triangle" within that range, in order to make scalpers trade in an ever-narrowing range until they disappeared in a cloud of brokerage.

The triangle came to its point at the start of lunch (Hongkers is still at lunch) and my guess - given Japan's rally mode in the post-lunch session - is that Hong Kong will try and afternoon rally.

Within the Hang Seng, 7 index components rose, while 17 stocks fell. Volume in the gainers in Hong Kong's big-cap index totalled 19.2million units, whereas total volume traded in losers was a whopping 116.7million shares. Individual stocks that contributed to the decline included...

  • CNOOC (0883), -HK$0.15 (3.47%) to HK$4.18 on volume of 47.14m shares;
  • China Merchant Holdings (0144), -HK$0.30 (1.86%) to HK$15.85 on volume of 1.19m shares;
  • China Unicom (0762), -HK$0.10 (1.55%) to HK$6.35 on volume of 7.56m shares;
  • Henderson Investments (0097), -HK$0.12 (1.09%) to HK$10.90 on volume of 64,000 shares;
  • PCCW (0008), -HK$0.05 (1.09%) to HK$4.55 on volume of 16.25m shares; and
  • Cathay Pacific Airways (0293), -HK$0.15 (1.02%) to HK$14.60 on volume of 3.41m shares.
Regional Indices
New ZealandNZSE503040.839-10.82-0.35%19.41m
JapanNikkei 22511563.17-74.35-0.64%81815
SingaporeStraits Times2164.15-9.94-0.46%0
Hong KongHang Seng13747.82-51.8-0.38%168.19m
MalaysiaKLSE Comp878.484.250.49%0