Interdum stultus opportuna loquitur...

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

OzRant: 3900 (XAO) and 3950 (XJO) Hold the Fort...

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Bet everyone thought - before the open - that because the US market had a little 112-point gallop, that the Oz market would do likewise... well tha'ts just silly. It has to be borne in mind about the US session that:

(a) it was a Monday (so all US "investors" minds had been wiped blank by the bath of crap spewing from the Mainstream Media); and

(b) the Fed did a $12 billion overnight repurchase, which helped the jamjob no end.


Major Market Indices

The broad market - the ASX All Ordinaries - fell by 12.10 points (-0.31%), finishing at 3911.70 points. The index hit an intraday high of 3940.70 just over 10 minutes after the open, and then set about a downward sag that saw it test 3900 a couple of times in the afternoon - eventually the All Ords low was 3902.2 and occurred just before 3:25 p.m. Sydney time..

Total volume traded on the ASX was 810 million units, about in line with the 10-day average. Of the 483 stocks in the All Ordinaries Index, 236 fell and 137 rose for the session. Volume was tilted in favour of the losers by a margin of 1.5:1, with 273.61 million shares traded in losers while 184.45 million shares were traded in the index members that finished in the green.

The Index that forms the cash basis for the SFE's Share Price Index Futures - the S&P/ASX 200 - fell by 10.90 points (-0.27%), finishing at 3954.50 points.

To be frank, things would probably have been a good deal worse if the two important round numbers (XJO 3950 and XAO 3900) hadn't been there to provide support. It's a market that's being driven almost purely by technical behaviour with a bit of mid-sized index arb thrown in just to befuddle everyone without access to SEATS.

The "heavy hitters" of the Australian market - the ASX 20 Leaders - fell by 4.40 points (-0.20%), finishing at 2151.70 points. Within the index members, there were 6 that rose, and 14 losers. Total volume in rising issues within the ASX20 amounted to 42.32 million shares while volume in the losers totalled 56.06 m units.

The major winners in the "big guns" were -

  • Alumina (AWC), +$0.07 (1.32%) to $5.38 on volume of 7.33m shares;
  • Woodside Petroleum (WPL), +$0.29 (1.28%) to $22.88 on volume of 2m shares;
  • Rio Tinto (RIO), +$0.52 (1.25%) to $42.17 on volume of 5.01m shares;
  • BHP Billiton (BHP), +$0.16 (1.03%) to $15.71 on volume of 18.31m shares; and
  • National Australia Bank (NAB), +$0.14 (0.45%) to $31.00 on volume of 6.27m shares.

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

  • QBE Insurance Group (QBE), -$0.34 (2.33%) to $14.24 on volume of 2.14m shares;
  • AMP Limited (AMP), -$0.10 (1.48%) to $6.64 on volume of 7.05m shares;
  • Amcor (AMC), -$0.07 (1.07%) to $6.48 on volume of 3.42m shares;
  • Wesfarmers (WES), -$0.38 (1.05%) to $35.65 on volume of 1.35m shares; and
  • St George Bank (SGB), -$0.25 (1.01%) to $24.47 on volume of 1.19m shares.

At the smaller end of the market's capitalisation scale, the ASX Small Ordinaries Index fell by 10.70 points (-0.50%), finishing at 2127.60 points. The major winners in the "pop-guns" were -

  • Metabolic Pharmaceuticals (MBP), +$0.07 (11.29%) to $0.69 on volume of 1.87m shares;
  • Psivida (PSD), +$0.08 (11.19%) to $0.80 on volume of 1.58m shares;
  • Ventracor (VCR), +$0.08 (7.35%) to $1.10 on volume of 6.69m shares;
  • Multiemedia (MUL), +$0.00 (7.14%) to $0.02 on volume of 7.39m shares; and
  • Lynas Corporation (LYC), +$0.01 (6.25%) to $0.17 on volume of 138,000 shares.

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

  • Just Group (JST), -$0.38 (17.43%) to $1.80 on volume of 17.39m shares;
  • Progen Industries (PGL), -$0.38 (10.38%) to $3.28 on volume of 276,000 shares; and
  • GRD (GRD), -$0.14 (9.28%) to $1.32 on volume of 521,000 shares;
  • Dragon Mining (DRA), -$0.01 (5.71%) to $0.17 on volume of 2.24m shares; and
  • PMP (PMP), -$0.07 (5.68%) to $1.08 on volume of 665,000 shares.
Index Changes
XAOAll Ordinaries3911.7-12.1-0.31%563.95m
XTLS&P/ASX 202151.7-4.4-0.2%98.39m
XFLS&P/ASX 503919.5-10.9-0.28%0
XTOS&P/ASX 1003223.7-8.5-0.26%0
XJOS&P/ASX 2003954.5-10.9-0.27%484.12m
XKOS&P/ASX 3003947.4-11.2-0.28%0
XMDS&P/ASX Mid-Cap 503803.4-7-0.18%0
XSOS&P/ASX Small Ordinaries2127.6-10.7-0.5%175.26m

All Ordinaries Market Internals

Market Breadth
Advancing Volume184.45m159.43m54m42.32260.35
Declining Volume273.61m251.37m74.07m56.06403.39

S&P/ASX200 GICS Sector Indices

The top sector for the day was Information Technology which gained 0.82% to 343.20 points. The sector was helped by

  • ERG (ERG), +$0.01 (2%) to $0.26 on volume of 371,000 shares;
  • IRESS Market Technology (IRE), +$0.07 (1.81%) to $3.94 on volume of 354,000 shares;
  • Computershare. (CPU), +$0.08 (1.55%) to $5.24 on volume of 1.74m shares;
  • Baycorp Advantage (BCA), +$0.04 (1.54%) to $2.63 on volume of 366,000 shares; and
  • MYOB (MYO), +$0.01 (1%) to $1.01 on volume of 243,000 shares.

Second in the sector leadership stakes was Materials which gained 0.44% to 6473.90 points. The sector leaders were -

  • Gunns (GNS), +$0.14 (3.72%) to $3.90 on volume of 716,000 shares;
  • Jubilee Mines (JBM), +$0.15 (2.81%) to $5.48 on volume of 482,000 shares;
  • Rinker Group (RIN), +$0.18 (1.54%) to $11.86 on volume of 3.04m shares;
  • Great Southern Plantations (GTP), +$0.05 (1.44%) to $3.52 on volume of 1.22m shares; and
  • Alumina (AWC), +$0.07 (1.32%) to $5.38 on volume of 7.33m shares.

The bronze today went to Energy which gained 0.11% to 7851.50 points. The sector was led by

  • Woodside Petroleum (WPL), +$0.29 (1.28%) to $22.88 on volume of 2m shares;
  • Santos (STO), +$0.10 (1.06%) to $9.52 on volume of 2.76m shares;
  • Tap Oil (TAP), +$0.01 (0.53%) to $1.89 on volume of 816,000 shares;
  • Oil Search (OSH), +$0.01 (0.44%) to $2.26 on volume of 3.43m shares; and
  • Roc Oil Company (ROC), -$0.02 (0.92%) to $1.61 on volume of 590,000 shares.

The worst-performed sector today was Consumer Discretionary which lost 0.82% to 2076.20 points, thanks largely to an earnings warning from Just Group - apparently the mild winter has been tragic for them, since they stocked up 'specially on fluffy woolies and so forth. If that was the only thing hanging over the head of consumer discretionary spending, then the harsh treatment of JST may have been seen as an over-reaction... but there's a far bigger Sword of Damocles hanging over that segment of the household budget - namely, the upcoming property bust. (Yes, I know, it's been upcoming for a good 3 years... but it's still coming eventually)

The sector was dragged lower by

  • Just Group (JST), -$0.38 (17.43%) to $1.80 on volume of 17.39m shares;
  • Pacific Brands (PBG), -$0.14 (6.28%) to $2.09 on volume of 4.6m shares; and
  • Colorado Group (CDO), -$0.21 (4.42%) to $4.54 on volume of 782,000 shares;
  • Miller's Retail (MRL), -$0.03 (3.6%) to $0.67 on volume of 601,000 shares; and
  • Harvey Norman Holdings (HVN), -$0.08 (3.2%) to $2.42 on volume of 2.51m shares.

Just in front of last place on the sector table was Industrials which lost 0.77% to 4714.40 points. The sector was pulled down by

  • PMP (PMP), -$0.07 (5.68%) to $1.08 on volume of 665,000 shares;
  • Brambles Industries (BIL), -$0.27 (3.34%) to $7.81 on volume of 10.43m shares; and
  • Patrick Corporation (PRK), -$0.10 (1.87%) to $5.25 on volume of 2.75m shares;
  • Patrick Corporation (PRK), -$0.10 (1.87%) to $5.25 on volume of 2.75m shares; and
  • Toll Holdings (TOL), -$0.17 (1.41%) to $11.88 on volume of 1.06m shares.
Sector Indices
CodeGICS SectorClose+/-%Volume
XIJInformation Technology343.22.80.82%3.96m
XPJProperty Trusts1712.3-1.4-0.08%76.06m
XXJASX200 Financials ex Property Trusts4934.9-20.7-0.42%60.28m
XSJConsumer Staples5249-28.3-0.54%41.88m
XDJConsumer Discretionary2076.2-17.2-0.82%66.84m

All Ordinaries Major Movers

All Ords Volume Leaders
BHPBHP Billiton15.710.161.03%18.31m
JSTJust Group1.8-0.38-17.43%17.39m
WMRWMC Resources7.900%15.3m
MAPMacquarie Airports3.480.061.75%13.92m
TLSTelstra Corporation.4.81-0.04-0.82%13.7m
FXJFairfax Holdings4.020.010.25%13.52m

All Ords Percentage Gainers
MBPMetabolic Pharmaceuticals0.690.0711.29%1.87m
BOCBougainville Copper0.720.0710.77%75300
TPXTasmanian Perpetual Trustees5.50.47.84%10098

All Ords Percentage Decliners
JSTJust Group1.8-0.38-17.43%17.39m
PGLProgen Industries.3.28-0.38-10.38%275796
UNIUnilife Medical Solutions0.59-0.06-9.23%111055
PBGPacific Brands2.09-0.14-6.28%4.6m

Elsewhere in the Region...

Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 121.83 points (-1.11%) to close at 10825.39 points. It was pretty much coast-to-coast decline - the index hit a high of 11066.76 during the session shortly after the open, and hit its low of 10788.59points in the last half-hour of the session.

The Kiwi Market was the only equity market that managed a gain today (Malaysia broke even, but is only in the table for show). The NZSE50 advanced 10.97 points (0.37%) to 2966.866 points. The index hit a high of 2969.791 at midday Auckland time, then went sideways in a narrow range for the entire afternoon. The index set its session low at 2955.494 points during the first 5 minutes of the session.

A total of 21 stocks within the NZSE50 rose, with volume in advancers totalling 9.4million units. Decliners numbered 16, and total volume traded in losers was 3.1million shares. Individual stocks performed well included...

  • Capital Properties (CNZ), +NZ$0.08 (6.35%) to NZ$1.34 on volume of 230,000 shares;
  • Nuplex Industries (NPX), +NZ$0.15 (4.11%) to NZ$3.80 on volume of 177,000 shares;
  • Air New Zealand (AIR), +NZ$0.05 (3.73%) to NZ$1.39 on volume of 290,000 shares;
  • Fisher & Paykel A (FPA), +NZ$0.10 (3.7%) to NZ$2.80 on volume of 703,000 shares;
  • Independent Newspapers (INL), +NZ$0.18 (2.96%) to NZ$6.27 on volume of 58,000 shares; and
  • Tourism Holdings (THL), +NZ$0.04 (2.55%) to NZ$1.61 on volume of 96,000 shares.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index declined a fairly-dishevelling 212.87 points (-1.54%). The index hit a high of 13863.16 at the open, and dropped hard throughout the morning session. After returning form the lunch break it sought to continue its decline, setting its low at 13626.64 points about half an hour ago.

Within the Hang Seng, only 1 index component rose (Yue Yuen Industries (0551), +HK$0.10 (0.44%) to HK$22.80 on volume of 795,000 shares), and the other 32 stocks fell. Volume in the gainers in Hong Kong's big-cap index totalled less than 800k units, and total volume traded in losers was 272.2 million shares. Individual stocks that contributed to the decline included...

  • China Merchant Holdings (0144), -HK$0.95 (6.23%) to HK$14.30 on volume of 13.21m shares;
  • Henderson Investments (0097), -HK$0.50 (4.41%) to HK$10.85 on volume of 4.06m shares;
  • Wheelock (0020), -HK$0.50 (4.22%) to HK$11.35 on volume of 4.36m shares;
  • China Mobile (0941), -HK$0.85 (3.13%) to HK$26.30 on volume of 16.81m shares;
  • Li & Fung (0494), -HK$0.45 (3.03%) to HK$14.40 on volume of 6.95m shares; and
  • CNOOC (0883), -HK$0.13 (2.98%) to HK$4.08 on volume of 55.17m shares.
Regional Indices
New ZealandNZSE502966.86610.970.37%25.13m
JapanNikkei 22510825.39-121.83-1.11%86325
SingaporeStraits Times2152.31-13.17-0.61%0
Hong KongHang Seng13653.94-212.87-1.54%272.99m
MalaysiaKLSE Comp889.440.170.02%0