Interdum stultus opportuna loquitur...

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

OzRant: Gaskets Are Holding (for now)...

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

Gaskets - is there anything in the world that performs such a thankless task so brilliantly? Get quished between two surfaces that will be subjected to great pressure, and just suck it up and absorb the pressure. If you're a gasket, your job, essentially, is to provide a pressuretight seal, but also to fail before any other component in the pressure chain. What a terrific life.

When will someone start asking hard questions as to why Pru Goward - whose only qualifications are as a hack slightly leftie journalist - got the role in the Prime-Minister-appointed Office for Whining Women (or whatever it's called)? Maybe everybody has got so much dirt on everybody else in Canberra that nobody asks whether these things are decided on merit or through the bed-flute system of allocation. Family values, my arse.

I promise never to mention Pru Goward again; if the rumour be true, she reveals the worst taste since Gareth Evans decided that he could embrace Cheryl Kernot without vomiting. I am reminded of an H.L. Mencken quote:

Shave a gorilla and it would be almost impossible, at twenty paces, to distinguish him from a heavyweight champion of the world. Skin a chimpanzee, and it would take an autopsy to prove he was not a theologian.

Shave a chmpanzee, and the only way you could tell it wasn't John Howard was that the chimpanzee would have some principles.

Why isn't anyone asking him questions about the Downing Street Memos? Are we allowed to just "move on' from a War Crime?

Why doesn't someone just yell "He's got a sword!" then shoot him in the head and plead self-defence?

Then when the trial date arrives and the prosecution claims he had no sword, say to the judge "Your Honour, we could debate this 'sword' issue until we're blue in the face - personally I've moved on from that particular issue; it doesn't matter whether he was about to assault me with a huge sword, or whether he simply had sword related programs ... it was self-defence, and the world is a better place without him".

See how far that gets you... if a crime is a crime for a citizen, it is a crime for a government - or the government is a tyranny.

Major Market Indices

The broad market - the ASX All Ordinaries - rose by 18.90 points (0.45%), finishing at 4253.60 points. After opening at 4234.7 (again, the low of the session), the index jumped to 4247 within the first ten minutes. From then on it added just 6 points for the rest of the session. It's even more boring when you consider that the index hit an intraday high of 4257.20 at 1:30 p.m.; for the following 90 minutes it traded in a range of less than five All Ords points.

Total volume traded on the ASX was 870 million units, about 5% below its 10-day average. Of the 483 stocks in the index, 213 rose while 156 fell. Volume was tilted in favour of the gainers by a margin of 2.1:1, with 296.91 million shares traded in gainers while 142.14 million shares traded in the day's losers.

The Index that forms the cash basis for the SFE's Share Price Index Futures - the S&P/ASX 200 - rose by 19.90 points (0.46%), finishing at 4301.80 points. So both the XAO and the XJO close above important 'round number' levels - 4250 and 4300 respectively. They're clearly betting on an upwards bias in the US this week, which is not such a silly bet considering it's a short week. Still, it's not a bet that anyone with a longer horizon ought to be taking.

The "heavy hitters" of the Australian market - the ASX 20 Leaders - rose by 11.20 points (0.49%), finishing at 2310.60 points. So yet again we have a 'circle the wagons' approach - whereby the flight is to market cap (by broad category) rather than 'quality'. Within the index members, there were 11 that rose, and 9 losers. Total volume in rising issues within the ASX20 amounted to 40.18 while volume in the losers totalled 31.14m units.

The major winners in the "big guns" were -

  • Woodside Petroleum (WPL), +$0.80 (2.75%) to $29.90 on volume of 1.24m shares;
  • Wesfarmers (WES), +$0.69 (1.74%) to $40.43 on volume of 724,000 shares; and
  • Westfield Group (WDC), +$0.30 (1.68%) to $18.20 on volume of 3.64m shares; and
  • Rio Tinto (RIO), +$0.65 (1.44%) to $45.85 on volume of 2.32m shares; and
  • BHP Billiton (BHP), +$0.25 (1.37%) to $18.45 on volume of 11.48m shares.

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

  • Alumina (AWC), -$0.06 (1.06%) to $5.60 on volume of 1.61m shares;
  • AMP Limited (AMP), -$0.05 (0.77%) to $6.47 on volume of 7.25m shares; and
  • Woolworths (WOW), -$0.12 (0.73%) to $16.25 on volume of 1.97m shares; and
  • St George Bank (SGB), -$0.16 (0.61%) to $26.09 on volume of 970,000 shares; and
  • Amcor (AMC), -$0.04 (0.58%) to $6.81 on volume of 1.62m shares.

At the smaller end of the market's capitalisation scale, the ASX Small Ordinaries Index rose by 4.20 points (0.18%), finishing at 2369.60 points. The major winners in the "pop-guns" were -

  • Mosaic Oil (MOS), +$0.01 (6.06%) to $0.18 on volume of 4.33m shares;
  • Psivida (PSD), +$0.05 (6%) to $0.80 on volume of 224,000 shares; and
  • Skilled Group (SKE), +$0.15 (6%) to $2.65 on volume of 45,000 shares; and
  • Metabolic Pharmaceuticals (MBP), +$0.03 (4.88%) to $0.65 on volume of 577,000 shares; and
  • Novogen (NRT), +$0.23 (4.69%) to $5.13 on volume of 152,000 shares.

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

  • Dragon Mining (DRA), -$0.02 (6.52%) to $0.22 on volume of 691,000 shares;
  • AV Jennings Homes (AVJ), -$0.09 (6.16%) to $1.37 on volume of 285,000 shares; and
  • Perseverance Corporation (PSV), -$0.02 (4.55%) to $0.32 on volume of 922,000 shares; and
  • Brazin (BRZ), -$0.08 (4.23%) to $1.70 on volume of 6,000 shares; and
  • Sunland Group (SDG), -$0.06 (4.04%) to $1.43 on volume of 186,000 shares.
Index Changes
XAOAll Ordinaries4253.618.90.45%536.69m
XTLS&P/ASX 202310.611.20.49%71.32m
XFLS&P/ASX 504246.818.40.44%182.27m
XTOS&P/ASX 1003498.1170.49%339.97m
XJOS&P/ASX 2004301.819.90.46%441.47m
XKOS&P/ASX 3004293.319.50.46%0
XMDS&P/ASX Mid-Cap 504162.732.30.78%0
XSOS&P/ASX Small Ordinaries2369.64.20.18%160.48m

All Ordinaries Market Internals

Market Breadth

Advancing Volume40.18m224.45m259.89m296.91m70.84m501.47m
Declining Volume31.14m93.61m127.26m142.14m45.49m259.89m

S&P/ASX200 GICS Sector Indices

The top sector for the day was Property Trusts which gained 1.64% to 1851.10 points. The sector was helped by

  • Stockland (SGP), +$0.17 (3.05%) to $5.74 on volume of 5.99m shares;
  • Commonwealth Property Office Fund (CPA), +$0.04 (2.77%) to $1.30 on volume of 9.29m shares; and
  • ING Industrial Fund (IIF), +$0.05 (2.35%) to $2.18 on volume of 2.18m shares; and
  • DB Rreef Trust (DRT), +$0.03 (2.2%) to $1.40 on volume of 6.6m shares; and
  • CFS Gandel Retail Trust (GAN), +$0.04 (2.06%) to $1.74 on volume of 6.51m shares.

Second in the sector leadership stakes was Healthcare which gained 1.37% to 5346.10 points. The sector leaders were -

  • Novogen (NRT), +$0.23 (4.69%) to $5.13 on volume of 152,000 shares;
  • DCA Group (DVC), +$0.14 (3.76%) to $3.86 on volume of 3.06m shares; and
  • Mayne Group (MAY), +$0.17 (3.6%) to $4.89 on volume of 2.25m shares; and
  • Ansell (ANN), +$0.36 (3.59%) to $10.40 on volume of 781,000 shares; and
  • Healthscope (HSP), +$0.11 (2.44%) to $4.61 on volume of 1.29m shares.

The bronze today went to Energy which gained 0.98% to 9670.70 points. The sector was led by

  • Oil Search (OSH), +$0.27 (8.46%) to $3.46 on volume of 37.52m shares;
  • Woodside Petroleum (WPL), +$0.80 (2.75%) to $29.90 on volume of 1.24m shares; and
  • Hardman Resources (HDR), +$0.03 (1.34%) to $2.27 on volume of 3.23m shares; and
  • Tap Oil (TAP), +$0.03 (1.21%) to $2.50 on volume of 2.13m shares; and
  • Caltex Australia (CTX), +$0.15 (0.94%) to $16.15 on volume of 625,000 shares.

The worst-performed sector today was Consumer Staples which lost 0.36% to 5571.90 points. The sector was dragged lower by

  • Coca-Cola Amatil (CCL), -$0.08 (1.01%) to $7.88 on volume of 1.08m shares;
  • Woolworths (WOW), -$0.12 (0.73%) to $16.25 on volume of 1.97m shares;
  • Burns, Philp & Company (BPC), -$0.01 (0.54%) to $0.92 on volume of 5.31m shares;
  • Futuris Corporation (FCL), -$0.01 (0.54%) to $1.84 on volume of 2.59m shares; and
  • Foster's Group (FGL), -$0.02 (0.37%) to $5.33 on volume of 4.46m shares.

Just in front of last place on the sector table was Utilities which lost 0.11% to 5009.00 points. The sector was pulled down by

  • Alinta (ALN), -$0.20 (1.99%) to $9.85 on volume of 533,000 shares;
  • Energy Developments (ENE), -$0.08 (1.9%) to $4.14 on volume of 383,000 shares;
  • Diversified Utility And Energy Trusts (DUE), -$0.02 (0.8%) to $2.47 on volume of 740,000 shares;
  • Pacific Hydro (PHY), -$0.00 (0%) to $5.00 on volume of 1.09m shares; and
  • Gasnet Australia Group (GAS), +$0.01 (0.37%) to $2.70 on volume of 718,000 shares.
Sector Indices
CodeGICS SectorClose+/-%Volume
XPJProperty Trusts1851.129.81.64%110.09m
XDJConsumer Discretionary2240.47.50.34%30.31m
XIJInformation Technology382.30.50.13%4.94m
XXJASX200 Financials ex Property Trusts5173.5-0.8-0.02%50.42m
XSJConsumer Staples5571.9-20.2-0.36%40.2m

All Ordinaries Major Movers

All Ords Volume Leaders
OSHOil Search3.460.278.46%37.52m
GPTGeneral Property Trust3.760.051.35%16.22m
MRMMermaid Marine Australia0.35-0.005-1.41%16m
TLSTelstra Corporation5.040.040.8%12.99m
BHPBHP Billiton18.450.251.37%11.48m
QANQantas Airways3.28-0.04-1.2%9.62m

All Ords Percentage Gainers
TIRTitan Resources0.060.0059.09%3.65m
OSHOil Search3.460.278.46%37.52m
MOSMosaic Oil0.1750.016.06%4.33m
SKESkilled Group2.650.156%44629

All Ords Percentage Decliners
DRADragon Mining0.215-0.015-6.52%691238
AVJAV Jennings Homes1.37-0.09-6.16%285320
BBBB Digital0.38-0.02-5%316880
PSVPerseverance Corporation0.315-0.015-4.55%921550

Elsewhere in the Region...

Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 34.85 points (-0.30%) to close at 11616.7 points in  very narrow and choppy session. The index hit a high of 11658.26 in the first half-hour, but softened to trade as low as 11606.76 points during the post-lunch session. 11600 is obviously acting as a floor in the SGX Nikkei futures.

The Kiwi Market advanced 17.99 points (0.55%) to close at 3267.234 - within a bee's thungie (that's NZer-ish for 'thingie') of its high. The index opened at its low (3248.452 points) ad rose throughout the session to hit a high of 3267.806 with less than a minute let in the day.

A total of 17 stocks within the NZSE50 rose, with volume in advancers totalling 9.5 million units. Decliners numbered 17, and total volume traded in losers was 19.4 million shares (so in fact, the decliners won the volume battle - which means that the bulls may finally be getting stale in the Te Ika A Maui (since the South Island doesn't seem to be much interested in financial markets, I've left it out). Individual stocks that dud well included...

  • Sky City Entertainment (SKC), +NZ$0.19 (4.12%) to NZ$4.80 on volume of 1.62m shares;
  • Nuplex Industries (NPX), +NZ$0.18 (4%) to NZ$4.68 on volume of 197,000 shares;
  • Fisher & Paykel H (FPH), +NZ$0.13 (3.82%) to NZ$3.53 on volume of 817,000 shares;
  • Ryman Healthcare (RYM), +NZ$0.05 (1.32%) to NZ$3.85 on volume of 32,000 shares;
  • Lion Nathan (LNN), +NZ$0.10 (1.24%) to NZ$8.15 on volume of 15,000 shares; and
  • Cavalier Corporation (CAV), +NZ$0.05 (1.23%) to NZ$4.10 on volume of 12,000 shares.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index declined 43.57 points (-0.31%) to sit at 14134.30 during the lunch interval. The index opened weak, dipping to 14101.56 points after the first 15 minutes. !4101... let's call that '14100-ish'. From there the index bounced al lthe way to 14161 prior to lunch.

Within the Hang Seng, 4 index components rose, while 24 stocks fell. Volume in the gainers in Hong Kong's big-cap index totalled 71.9million units, and total volume traded in losers was 69.5million shares. Individual stocks that contributed to the decline included...

  • Denway Motors (0203), -HK$0.05 (1.79%) to HK$2.75 on volume of 5.41m shares;
  • Henderson Land (0012), -HK$0.50 (1.34%) to HK$36.70 on volume of 583,000 shares;
  • Wheelock (0020), -HK$0.15 (1.2%) to HK$12.40 on volume of 885,000 shares;
  • CKI Holdings (1038), -HK$0.25 (1.06%) to HK$23.35 on volume of 218,000 shares;
  • PCCW (0008), -HK$0.05 (1.02%) to HK$4.85 on volume of 4.1m shares; and
  • Cheung Kong (0001), -HK$0.70 (0.93%) to HK$74.85 on volume of 3.73m shares.
Regional Indices
New ZealandNZSE503267.32417.990.55%30.9m
JapanNikkei 22511616.7-34.85-0.3%0
SingaporeStraits Times2230.118.950.4%0
Hong KongHang Seng14134.3-43.57-0.31%150.55m
MalaysiaKLSE Comp900.421.730.19%0