Interdum stultus opportuna loquitur...

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

OzRant: A Whole Lotta Nuthin...

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

The regional undercurrents reveal a set of markets that are too tentative to do anything but mark time; nobody is willing to punt on a sustained decline, but nobody is prepared to buy the open either.

The crux of the issue remains the fact that global equities markets are priced for very low nominal future returns; either that, or people's time preference discount factor is falling almost to zero (implying a very low level of required rate of return on deferred consumption)... as I've said before, such a hypothesis is utterly inconsistent with their expenditure patterns.

So what do we have? Global equity markets that are trading at earnings multiples that are closer to levels experienced in 1929 ans 2000 than they are to genuine cycle lows (like 1982); couple that with a massive re-liquification campaign byu the US central bank, and a US government that's spending like a Marine in a Hanoi whorehouse, and you've got a recipe for disaster... once-in-3-lifetimes style.


Major Market Indices

The broad market - the ASX All Ordinaries - fell by 11.60 points (-0.29%), finishing at 3987.50 points. The index hit an intraday high of 3999.10 (i.e., at the open) and its low was 3968.8; at the moment that the All Ords hit 3968-ish, the ASX200 was touching (and briefly penetrating) 4000. That was twenty minutes after the market opened, and from there the All Ords bounced 25 points before lunchtime. After a sedcond failure to get back to the opening level, the index dropped back below 3980 until a little spurt in the alst 20 minutes allowed a close with some dignity.

Total volume traded on the ASX was soft at just under 800 million units, 8.3% below its 10-day average. Of the 483 stocks in the index, 244 fell while 121 managed a gain. Volume was tilted in favour of the losers by a margin of 1.3:1, with 239.3 million shares traded in losers compared with 177.6 million 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 8.80 points (-0.22%), finishing at 4019.00 points.

The "heavy hitters" of the Australian market - the ASX 20 Leaders - rose by 0.60 points (0.03%), finishing at 2171.20 points. Within the index members, there were 8 that rose, and 12 losers. Total volume in rising issues within the ASX20 amounted to 58.53m units while volume in the losers totalled 60.35m units.

The major winners in the "big guns" were largley 'defensives' - although even these are now overpriced -

  • ANZ Banking Group (ANZ), +$0.50 (2.41%) to $21.24 on volume of 7.96m shares;
  • Westpac Banking Corporation (WBC), +$0.33 (1.77%) to $18.98 on volume of 6.11m shares;
  • Woolworths (WOW), +$0.11 (0.72%) to $15.40 on volume of 2.43m shares;
  • Telstra Corporation (TLS), +$0.03 (0.62%) to $4.86 on volume of 21.82m shares; and
  • Westfield Group (WDC), +$0.10 (0.62%) to $16.24 on volume of 5.62m shares.

The stocks that made up the biggest percentage losers in the big-guns also included defensive stocks:

  • Amcor (AMC), -$0.14 (2.05%) to $6.69 on volume of 6.37m shares;
  • Foster's Group (FGL), -$0.10 (1.88%) to $5.23 on volume of 8.12m shares;
  • Wesfarmers (WES), -$0.67 (1.8%) to $36.63 on volume of 1.33m shares;
  • BHP Billiton (BHP), -$0.24 (1.42%) to $16.65 on volume of 21.07m shares; and
  • AMP Limited (AMP), -$0.09 (1.3%) to $6.82 on volume of 5.18m shares.

At the smaller end of the market's capitalisation scale, the ASX Small Ordinaries Index fell by 18.70 points (-0.84%), finishing at 2205.80 points. The major winners in the "pop-guns" were -

  • SDI (SDI), +$0.06 (6.59%) to $0.97 on volume of 136,000 shares;
  • Nylex (NLX), +$0.02 (5.26%) to $0.30 on volume of 2.8m shares;
  • Austal (ASB), +$0.08 (5%) to $1.68 on volume of 235,000 shares;
  • Orbital Corporation (OEC), +$0.01 (5%) to $0.11 on volume of 94,000 shares; and
  • Perilya (PEM), +$0.05 (5%) to $0.95 on volume of 328,000 shares.

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

  • Sirtex Medical (SRX), -$0.17 (11.97%) to $1.25 on volume of 8,000 shares;
  • Bendigo Mining (BDG), -$0.09 (7.59%) to $1.04 on volume of 553,000 shares; and
  • Just Group (JST), -$0.17 (7.17%) to $2.20 on volume of 2.63m shares;
  • AAV (AVV), -$0.07 (5.98%) to $1.10 on volume of 256,000 shares; and
  • Brazin (BRZ), -$0.11 (5.43%) to $1.83 on volume of 165,000 shares.
Index Changes
XAOAll Ordinaries3987.5-11.6-0.29%2156.506
XTLS&P/ASX 202171.20.60.03%118.89m
XFLS&P/ASX 503970.7-4.9-0.12%0
XTOS&P/ASX 1003273.2-5.5-0.17%0
XJOS&P/ASX 2004019-8.8-0.22%441.13m
XKOS&P/ASX 3004015.6-9.3-0.23%0
XMDS&P/ASX Mid-Cap 503913.3-16.9-0.43%0
XSOS&P/ASX Small Ordinaries2205.8-18.7-0.84%127.2m

All Ordinaries Market Internals

Market Breadth
Advancing Volume177.57m160.54m31.49m58.53250.54
Declining Volume239.26m215.7m65.64m60.35428.86

S&P/ASX200 GICS Sector Indices

The top sector for the day was ASX200 Financials ex Property Trusts which gained 0.48% to 4907.30 points. Of the 27 stocks in the sector, 16 fell while 9 managed a gain. Volume was barely tilted in favour of the gainers by a margin of 1.1:1, with 23.81 million shares traded in gainers compared with 21.43 million shares traded in losers. The sector was helped by the major banks -

  • ANZ Banking Group (ANZ), +$0.50 (2.41%) to $21.24 on volume of 7.96m shares;
  • Westpac Banking Corporation (WBC), +$0.33 (1.77%) to $18.98 on volume of 6.11m shares;
  • Australand Property Group (ALZ), +$0.02 (0.95%) to $1.60 on volume of 1.65m shares;
  • Lend Lease Corporation (LLC), +$0.10 (0.83%) to $12.22 on volume of 957,000 shares; and
  • National Australia Bank (NAB), +$0.14 (0.49%) to $28.95 on volume of 3.55m shares.

Second in the sector leadership stakes was Financials which gained 0.48% to 4845.80 points. That's basically double counting, since XFJ is just XXJ with all the boring crap (the Property Trusts) added back. The sector leaders were -

  • ANZ Banking Group (ANZ), +$0.50 (2.41%) to $21.24 on volume of 7.96m shares;
  • Westpac Banking Corporation (WBC), +$0.33 (1.77%) to $18.98 on volume of 6.11m shares;
  • Bunnings Warehouse Property Trust (BWP), +$0.03 (1.45%) to $1.75 on volume of 88,000 shares;
  • ING Office Fund (IOF), +$0.02 (1.21%) to $1.25 on volume of 2.47m shares; and
  • Stockland (SGP), +$0.06 (1.03%) to $5.88 on volume of 3.02m shares.

The bronze today went to Telecommunications which gained 0.47% to 1737.10 points. This sector, you will recall, contins only 2 stocks and is therefore a joke. Usually it moves in the same direction as its major component (Telstra) except for the blindingly rare event when Telecom NZ's share price moves by enough to countermand Telstra's move. Those days are almost as rare as an honest NeoTrot (the difference being that TEL has once overwhelmed TLS's move, but I've never seen any record of an honest neoTrot).

  • Telstra Corporation. (TLS), +$0.03 (0.62%) to $4.86 on volume of 21.82m shares;
  • Telecom Corporation Of New Zealand (TEL), -$0.02 (0.36%) to $5.60 on volume of 1.81m shares.

The worst-performed sector today was Materials which lost 1.35% to 6744.80 points. Of the 37 stocks in the sector, 30 fell while 5 managed a gain. Volume was tilted in favour of the losers by a margin of 4.8:1, with 87.81million shares traded in losers while 18.12million shares traded in gainers. The sector was dragged lower by

  • Nufarm (NUF), -$0.43 (4.37%) to $9.41 on volume of 148,000 shares;
  • Newcrest Mining (NCM), -$0.60 (3.87%) to $14.90 on volume of 3.56m shares; and
  • Orica (ORI), -$0.65 (3.77%) to $16.60 on volume of 2.06m shares;
  • Gunns (GNS), -$0.15 (3.7%) to $3.90 on volume of 539,000 shares; and
  • Smorgon Steel Group (SSX), -$0.04 (3.25%) to $1.19 on volume of 1.2m shares.

Just in front of last place on the sector table was Consumer Discretionary which lost 0.87% to 2087.30 points. Of the 29 stocks in the sector, 22 fell while 6 managed a gain. Volume was tilted in favour of the losers by a margin of 4.7:1, with 33.97million shares traded in losers while 7.29million shares traded in gainers. The sector was pulled down by another 1% decline in New Corpse, but it wasn't even in the top 5 losers...

  • Just Group (JST), -$0.17 (7.17%) to $2.20 on volume of 2.63m shares;
  • Austereo Group (AEO), -$0.08 (4.52%) to $1.59 on volume of 78,000 shares; and
  • JB Hi-Fi (JBH), -$0.15 (4.36%) to $3.29 on volume of 789,000 shares;
  • G.U.D. Holdings (GUD), -$0.24 (4.29%) to $5.36 on volume of 474,000 shares; and
  • Seven Network (SEV), -$0.26 (3.65%) to $6.86 on volume of 299,000 shares.
Sector Indices
CodeGICS SectorClose+/-%Volume
XXJASX200 Financials ex Property Trusts4907.323.40.48%60.82m
XPJProperty Trusts1765.78.10.46%79.36m
XIJInformation Technology360.5-0.3-0.08%4.43m
XSJConsumer Staples5359.9-15.9-0.3%48.31m
XDJConsumer Discretionary2087.3-18.3-0.87%41.56m

All Ordinaries Major Movers

All Ords Volume Leaders
TLSTelstra Corporation.4.860.030.62%21.82m
BHPBHP Billiton16.65-0.24-1.42%21.07m
LHGLihir Gold1.070.032.4%11.28m
ADYAdmiralty Resources.0.14-0.01-3.45%10.57m
QANQantas Airways3.3-0.04-1.2%9.82m
MIGMacquarie Infrastructure Group3.660.010.27%9.41m

All Ords Percentage Gainers

All Ords Percentage Decliners
BDGBendigo Mining1.04-0.09-7.59%552672
JSTJust Group2.2-0.17-7.17%2.63m
GFDGreen's Foods0.63-0.04-5.97%146358
TIRTitan Resources0.064-0.004-5.88%1.24m

Elsewhere in the Region...

At time of writing, Japan's Nikkei 225 was down 30.41 points (-0.28%) at 11005.42 points. The index hit a high of 11022.44 shortly after returning from its luncheon adjournment, after opening at 10968.58 points. Basically the Nikkei is trying to hold above 11,000 (or at least, within striking distance) and hoping for a North American rally.

The Kiwi Market advanced 5.95 points (0.20%). The indexwas soft for much of the morning, eventually hitting its session low at 2937.465 points at almost exactly 11:30 Auckland time. From there it reversed pretty hard, rising to post its session high at 2958.573 right at the close.

A total of 12 stocks within the NZSE50 rose, with volume in advancers totalling 7.5million units. Decliners numbered 28, and total volume traded in losers was 13.5million shares. Individual stocks that dud well included...

  • Carter Holt Harvey (CAH), +NZ$0.07 (3.83%) to NZ$1.90 on volume of 2.3m shares;
  • Contact Energy (CEN), +NZ$0.18 (2.68%) to NZ$6.90 on volume of 407,000 shares;
  • Auckland International Airport(AIA), +NZ$0.05 (2.55%) to NZ$2.01 on volume of 1.47m shares;
  • Fisher & Paykel A (FPA), +NZ$0.06 (2.21%) to NZ$2.77 on volume of 372,000 shares;
  • ANZ baking Group (ANZ), +NZ$0.39 (1.75%) to NZ$22.71 on volume of 67,000 shares; and
  • Lion Nathan (LNN), +NZ$0.13 (1.68%) to NZ$7.86 on volume of 68,000 shares.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index declined 29.20 points (-0.21%) at 13830.38. The index hit a high of 13847.39 just after 10:30 HK time, having plumbed its session low at 13801.82 points just ten minutes before the high was set. It's currently at lunch.

Within the Hang Seng, 4 index components rose, while 21 stocks fell. Volume in the gainers in Hong Kong's big-cap index totalled 7.8million units, and total volume traded in losers was 57.5million shares. Individual stocks that contributed to the decline included...

  • China Unicom (0762), -HK$0.10 (1.59%) to HK$6.20 on volume of 2.47m shares;
  • Cosco Pacific (1199), -HK$0.25 (1.44%) to HK$17.15 on volume of 634,000 shares;
  • China Merchant Holdings (0144), -HK$0.20 (1.29%) to HK$15.25 on volume of 2.65m shares;
  • Denway Motors (0203), -HK$0.03 (0.93%) to HK$2.65 on volume of 4.86m shares;
  • Henderson Investments (0097), -HK$0.10 (0.9%) to HK$11.00 on volume of 161,000 shares; and
  • Swire Pacific A (0019), -HK$0.50 (0.76%) to HK$65.00 on volume of 876,000 shares.
Regional Indices
New ZealandNZSE502958.5735.950.2%24.57m
JapanNikkei 22511005.42-30.41-0.28%82654
SingaporeStraits Times2146.41-3.23-0.15%0
Hong KongHang Seng13830.38-29.2-0.21%84.03m
MalaysiaKLSE Comp872.37-0.06-0.01%0