Interdum stultus opportuna loquitur...

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

OzRant: Is That IT?

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Hmmmm... strange behaviour, really. the market got some goodish news early, but failed to get going with any great vim. I made it clear that the bounce off last Friday's oversold condition was unlikely to be anything special, but frankly I expected something a little bit more vigorous than the damp squib that we've seen so far. There was one solid squirt of short-covering yesterday morning, and that's really been the extent of it. It is starting to smell like a fair-dinkum fan-splat is coming.

Major Market Indices

The broad market - the ASX All Ordinaries - rose by 5.50 points (0.14%), finishing at 4001.90 points. After seizing desperately to the "good news" from Intel after the bell in the US, the nuffnuffs charged the open like a pack of berserkers in Dungeons & Dragons; the thing opened with a little gap up, then stacked on 25 points in ten minutes, hitting its high of 4032.10 with just a quarter of an hour elapsed in the session.

Once the nuffnuffs were all set on the long side of the boat, she keeled hard a-starb'd (ha-harrrrr, me maties), and tossed their dopey asses into Davey Jones' Locker.

See, it turned out that INTC's numbers weren't that good - they were light on revenue, for a start. Plus, the fact is that I no longer trust a single number that's produced by US firms...

By just after 3 p.m. the index had been dragged back to 3993.3, and the poor nuffies will have been wondering what hit them, as the post-10:15 decline threatened to continue through to the close... but then someone with some money decided to close the market above 4000 - just to be nice.

Total volume traded on the ASX was 920 million units, which is not staggeringly bad, but isn't setting the world alight either. At 1.8% below its 10-day average, it's just "bleh".

Of the 483 stocks in the All Ords, 208 rose while 168 fell. Volume was tilted in favour of the losers by a margin of 11:10, with 259.32million shares traded in losers while 245.61million shares traded in gainers .

The Index that forms the cash basis for the SFE's Share Price Index Futures - the S&P/ASX 200 - rose by a scant 2.40 points (0.06%), finishing at 4023.60 points.

The "heavy hitters" of the Australian market - the ASX 20 Leaders - rose by 1.00 points (0.05%), finishing at 2171.30 points. Within the index members, there were 8 that rose, and 11 losers. Total volume in rising issues within the ASX20 amounted to 52.62m units - beaten out by volume in the losers, which totalled 73.77m units.

The major winners in the "big guns" were -

  • QBE Insurance Group (QBE), +$0.35 (2.38%) to $15.05 on volume of 2.87m shares;
  • BHP Billiton (BHP), +$0.21 (1.25%) to $17.02 on volume of 27.89m shares;
  • Alumina (AWC), +$0.06 (1.04%) to $5.85 on volume of 5.83m shares;
  • National Australia Bank (NAB), +$0.25 (0.87%) to $29.00 on volume of 5.72m shares; and
  • Rio Tinto (RIO), +$0.36 (0.83%) to $43.82 on volume of 3.59m shares.

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

  • AMP Limited (AMP), -$0.12 (1.8%) to $6.56 on volume of 5.12m shares;
  • Telstra Corporation (TLS), -$0.08 (1.59%) to $4.94 on volume of 35.81m shares;
  • Westpac Banking Corporation (WBC), -$0.14 (0.75%) to $18.60 on volume of 5.69m shares;
  • Woolworths (WOW), -$0.11 (0.72%) to $15.25 on volume of 3.69m shares; and
  • Amcor (AMC), -$0.04 (0.59%) to $6.76 on volume of 4.77m shares.

At the smaller end of the market's capitalisation scale, the ASX Small Ordinaries Index rose by 5.10 points (0.23%), finishing at 2236.30 points. The major winners in the "pop-guns" were -

  • Chemeq (CMQ), +$0.26 (19.85%) to $1.57 on volume of 2.08m shares;
  • Norwood Abbey (NAL), +$0.07 (17.5%) to $0.47 on volume of 820,000 shares;
  • Metabolic Pharmaceuticals (MBP), +$0.07 (11.67%) to $0.67 on volume of 1.22m shares;
  • Circadian Technologies (CIR), +$0.13 (9.85%) to $1.45 on volume of 44,000 shares; and
  • Beach Petroleum (BPT), +$0.05 (8.41%) to $0.58 on volume of 1.26m shares.

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

  • Pacifica Group (PBB), -$0.21 (8.97%) to $2.13 on volume of 453,000 shares;
  • Giants Reef Mining (GTM), -$0.00 (6.45%) to $0.03 on volume of 15.29m shares; and
  • Technology One (TNE), -$0.03 (5.13%) to $0.56 on volume of 266,000 shares;
  • Multiemedia (MUL), -$0.00 (5%) to $0.02 on volume of 3.74m shares; and
  • Sirtex Medical (SRX), -$0.08 (4.85%) to $1.57 on volume of 63,000 shares.
Index Changes
XAOAll Ordinaries4001.95.50.14%2185.902
XTLS&P/ASX 202171.310.05%134.5m
XFLS&P/ASX 503969.81.60.04%0
XTOS&P/ASX 1003273.92.40.07%0
XJOS&P/ASX 2004023.62.40.06%504.24m
XKOS&P/ASX 3004021.63.50.09%0
XMDS&P/ASX Mid-Cap 503924.59.70.25%0
XSOS&P/ASX Small Ordinaries2236.35.10.23%160.99m

All Ordinaries Market Internals

Market Breadth
Advancing Volume245.61m195.3m61.31m52.62426.21
Declining Volume259.32m229.74m75.51m73.77379.85

S&P/ASX200 GICS Sector Indices

The top sector for the day was Information Technology which gained 1.35% to 360.60 points. Of the 7 stocks in the sector, 6 rose and none fell (Baycorp Advantage was unchanged at $2.91). Volume in gainers totalled 5.36million shares and trade in Baycorp was a touch over 412k shares. The sector was helped by

  • Infomedia Ltd (IFM), +$0.04 (8.16%) to $0.53 on volume of 403,000 shares;
  • ERG (ERG), +$0.01 (1.82%) to $0.28 on volume of 1.12m shares;
  • Computershare (CPU), +$0.09 (1.69%) to $5.43 on volume of 2.39m shares;
  • IRESS Market Technology (IRE), +$0.04 (1.03%) to $3.93 on volume of 219,000 shares; and
  • MYOB (MYO), +$0.01 (0.94%) to $1.07 on volume of 1.01m shares.

Second in the sector leadership stakes was Utilities which gained 1.02% to 4743.20 points. Of the 8 stocks in the sector, 6 rose while 1 fell (Envestra (ENV), -$0.03 (2.68%) to $1.09 on volume of 626,000 shares). Gasnet was unchanged at $2.50.

Volume was tilted in favour of the gainers by a margin of 9.8:1, with 6.15million shares traded in gainers and just 0.63million shares traded in Envestra. The sector leaders were -

  • Pacific Hydro (PHY), +$0.26 (5.88%) to $4.68 on volume of 2.87m shares as "suitor speculation" continues (don't journalists just love takeovers? never mind that they do bugger all for shareholders in the long run);
  • Energy Developments (ENE), +$0.07 (1.89%) to $3.78 on volume of 89,000 shares;
  • Australian Gas Light Company (AGL), +$0.17 (1.23%) to $13.94 on volume of 1.01m shares;
  • Alinta (ALN), +$0.04 (0.46%) to $8.83 on volume of 543,000 shares; and
  • Diversified Utility And Energy Trusts (DUE), +$0.01 (0.43%) to $2.36 on volume of 1.39m shares.

The bronze today went to Healthcare which gained 0.98% to 4789.90 points. The sector contains 15, and today 10 rose while 5 fell. Volume was tilted in favour of the gainers by a margin of 3.4:1, with 13.4million shares traded in gainers compared with 3.98 million shares traded in losers. The biggest percentage gainers in the sector today were -

  • Chemeq (CMQ), +$0.26 (19.85%) to $1.57 on volume of 2.08m shares;
  • Ramsay Health Care (RHC), +$0.30 (3.9%) to $8.00 on volume of 1.32m shares;
  • Mayne Group (MAY), +$0.08 (2.14%) to $3.81 on volume of 3.76m shares;
  • Resmed Inc (RMD), +$0.15 (1.94%) to $7.90 on volume of 1.19m shares; and
  • Sigma Company. (SIG), +$0.11 (1.33%) to $8.36 on volume of 1.25m shares.

The worst-performed sector today was Telecommunications which lost 1.29% to 1761.20 points - entirely due to the fall in the sector megalith - Telstra. The other index component - Telecom New Zealand - actually managed a gain.

  • Telstra Corporation (TLS), -$0.08 (1.59%) to $4.94 on volume of 35.81m shares; and
  • Telecom Corporation Of New Zealand (TEL), +$0.02 (0.36%) to $5.60 on volume of 2.86m shares.

Just in front of last place on the sector table was Consumer Discretionary which lost 0.45% to 2146.10 points. There are 29 stocks in the sector, and today 18 fell and 8 finished in the green. Volume was tilted in favour of the losers by a margin of 11:10, with 25.22million shares traded in losers compared to 23.15 million shares traded in the sector's advancing issues. The sector was pulled down by

  • Pacifica Group (PBB), -$0.21 (8.97%) to $2.13 on volume of 453,000 shares;
  • Austereo Group (AEO), -$0.07 (4.12%) to $1.63 on volume of 3.31m shares; and
  • Fleetwood Corporation (FWD), -$0.17 (2.08%) to $8.00 on volume of 242,000 shares;
  • Unitab (UTB), -$0.25 (1.99%) to $12.30 on volume of 257,000 shares; and
  • Aristocrat Leisure (ALL), -$0.20 (1.95%) to $10.05 on volume of 1.73m shares.
Sector Indices
CodeGICS SectorClose+/-%Volume
XIJInformation Technology360.64.81.35%5.77m
XXJASX200 Financials ex Property Trusts4846.27.10.15%64.33m
XSJConsumer Staples5430.3-13.7-0.25%55.57m
XPJProperty Trusts1731-6.2-0.36%70.16m
XDJConsumer Discretionary2146.1-9.7-0.45%49.23m

All Ordinaries Major Movers

All Ords Volume Leaders
TLSTelstra Corporation.4.94-0.08-1.59%35.81m
BHPBHP Billiton17.020.211.25%27.89m
BJTBabcock & Brown Japan Property Trust1.11-0.01-0.89%15.77m
FXJFairfax Holdings3.950.082.07%15.58m
ADYAdmiralty Resources.0.130.0219.05%15.16m

All Ords Percentage Gainers
NALNorwood Abbey0.470.0717.5%820000
MBPMetabolic Pharmaceuticals0.670.0711.67%1.22m

All Ords Percentage Decliners
PBBPacifica Group2.13-0.21-8.97%453085
MSTMetal Storm0.14-0.01-6.9%1.52m
GTMGiants Reef Mining0.029-0.002-6.45%15.29m
TNETechnology One0.56-0.03-5.13%266394

Elsewhere in the Region...

Japan's Nikkei 225 opened wit ha hiss and a roar, gapping up at the open (above 11150), and rising steadily for the first hour. After a post-10a.m. squirt to the session high (11199.30 - let's call that 11200), the index realised it had gotten ahead of itself and promptly reversed course - and reversed hard. Between 10:20 and 2:45, the Nikkei lost almost exactly 150 points, setting its intraday low at 11052.38 points about fifteen minutes ago. As I write it's up 22.72 points (0.21%) at 11088.58 points, having bounced hard on the test of 11050.

The Kiwi Market seemed to be set to open strong, and wiggled upward for the first fifteen minutes, before turning tail in a similar vein to the Aussie market. The index hit a high of 2977.19 at 9:30 Auckland time, then fell away for almost the entire session, eventually setting its low with 10 minutes to go in the session, at 2951.684points. A little ounce into the close saw the loss limited to 11.42 points (-0.38%) with the close at 2958.489 points.

A total of 18 stocks within the NZSE50 rose, with volume in advancers totalling 13.1million units. Decliners numbered 20, and total volume traded in losers was 11.3million shares. Individual stocks that lost included...

  • Carter Holt Harvey (CAH), -NZ$0.10 (5.26%) to NZ$1.80 on volume of 2.73m shares;
  • Nuplex Industries (NPX), -NZ$0.20 (4.6%) to NZ$4.15 on volume of 223,000 shares;
  • Port Of Tauranga (POT), -NZ$0.20 (4.08%) to NZ$4.70 on volume of 65,000 shares;
  • Ryman Healthcare (RYM), -NZ$0.14 (3.89%) to NZ$3.46 on volume of 40,000 shares; and
  • Sky City Entertainment (SKC), -NZ$0.12 (2.58%) to NZ$4.53 on volume of 3.68m shares.

Like the other bourses in the region, Hong Kong's Hang Seng index advanced from the open, setting its intraday high at 13567.94 just 25 minutes after the opening bell. a little over an hour alter, it was back testing 13500 - its low of 13501.12points was reached almost an hour before the lunch break. The Hong Kong market is still at lunch, 72.48 points (0.54%) to the good for the session, at 13516.57 points.

Within the Hang Seng, 23 index components rose, while 2 stocks fell. Volume in the gainers in Hong Kong's big-cap index totalled 73.5million units, and total volume traded in losers was 1.3million shares. Individual stocks that contributed to the advance included...

  • Esprit Holdings (0330), +HK$1.00 (1.82%) to HK$56.00 on volume of 960,000 shares;
  • CNOOC (0883), +HK$0.05 (1.24%) to HK$4.08 on volume of 23.29m shares;
  • Cosco Pacific (1199), +HK$0.20 (1.23%) to HK$16.50 on volume of 2.4m shares;
  • Li & Fung (0494), +HK$0.15 (1.08%) to HK$14.05 on volume of 1.81m shares;
  • Lenovo Group (0992), +HK$0.03 (1.05%) to HK$2.40 on volume of 1.9m shares; and
  • Hang Seng Bank (0011), +HK$1.00 (0.98%) to HK$103.50 on volume of 1.05m shares.
Regional Indices
New ZealandNZSE502958.489-11.42-0.38%29.11m
JapanNikkei 22511088.5822.720.21%84986
SingaporeStraits Times2135.186.470.3%0
Hong KongHang Seng13516.5772.480.54%85.24m
MalaysiaKLSE Comp873.235.460.63%0