You might be tempted to think - on the 'stopped watch being right twice a day' axiom - that the Cheney administration might actually pick a winner from time to time. Darth 'dick' Cheney and his minions are supposed to be reasonably educated: Darth ducked any military involvement in Vietnam in order to continue his education, after all.
Seriously - they picked Georgia as a candidate to give Russia a bloody nose? You're kidding.
Aaaah, Dearest Reader: you're making the mistake of confusing ends with means. Darth and his minions dont give a flying rat's arse if Georgia surrenders tomorrow, so long as Russia is tied up in the Caucasus and as a result finds it difficult to intervene in Iran.
Astute folks who look at maps will realise that if the Russians re-integrate Georgia - which they might well decide to do since their retaliatory invasion seems to be going quite well - the only thing between Russia and Iran would be Armenia, which is friendly to both Russia and Iran. You might argue that Azerbaijan is in the way... but just make a veer left at Ararat and a right at Angeghakoti and you can cross direct into Iran at Meghri - without having to climb too much (steep mountains are hell for armour - as the Soviets found Afghanistan).
Besides, Azerbaijan is hardly a US client state...
Anyhoooo... the overarching question is this: given that a Russian decision to hold Georgia would increase Russia's leverage over European energy markets (particularly oil an gas), why have global energy markets not responded?
To which I reply... you left out the key word which ought to be right at the end: YET.
Major Market Indices
The broad market - the All Ordinaries (XAO) - advanced modestly, rising 16.3 points (0.32%), finishing at 5085.6 points. The index hit an intraday high of 5106.2 at about 2 pm, while the low for the day was 5049.6 - set at 10:45 am Sydney time. Almost all of the interesting intraday action happened between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m.; funny how stuff happens at lunchtime on low-volume days.
Speaking of low volume - was everyone asleep on Strayan trading desks, or what? Total volume traded on the ASX was 1.07bn units, 9.7% below its 10-day average. The ASX's daily listing of all stocks included 1333 different 3-letter FPO's which traded (i.e., had non-zero trade volume). Of these, 402 issues rose, with volume in rising issues totalling 372.8m units; decliners numbered 629 counters, and between them they traded aggregate declining volume of 568.2m shares.
Of the 493 All Ordinaries components, 170 rose while 247 fell. Volume was tilted in favour of the losers by a margin of 1.4:1, with 312.31m shares traded in gainers while 443.73m 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 (XJO) - posted a modest rise of 22.3 points (0.44%), closing out the session at 5048.4 points. Big caps up, small caps down... boy that story gets old fast.
|All Ordinaries||5085.60||16.30 (0.3%)|
|ASX 20||2882.50||30.10 (1.1%)|
|ASX 50||4971.50||35.90 (0.7%)|
|ASX 100||4097.90||24.30 (0.6%)|
|ASX 200||5048.40||22.30 (0.4%)|
|ASX 300||5039.60||21.60 (0.4%)|
|ASX Mid-Cap 50||4885.90||-11.00 (0.2%)|
|ASX Small Ordinaries||2824.20||-30.70 (1.1%)|
The "heavy hitters" of the Australian market - the ASX 20 Leaders (XTL) - performed solidly, in moving up 30.1 points (1.06%), closing out the session at 2882.5 points.
The 20 stocks which make up the index traded a total of 139.47m units; 15 index components rose, with rising volume amounting to 72.99m shares, while the 5 decliners had volume traded totalling 66.48m units. The major percentage gainers within the index were
- Stockland (SGP), +$0.21 (3.98%) to $5.48 on volume of 4.3 million shares;
- QBE Insurance Group Limited (QBE), +$0.77 (3.28%) to $24.25 on volume of 2.5 million shares;
- St George Bank Limited (SGB), +$0.96 (3.18%) to $31.19 on volume of 4.1 million shares;
- National Australia Bank Limited (NAB), +$0.72 (2.8%) to $26.44 on volume of 7.4 million shares; and
- AMP Limited (AMP), +$0.16 (2.33%) to $7.02 on volume of 6.9 million shares.
On the less salubrious side of the big-cap fence, the following stocks were the worst-performed within the index:
- ANZ Banking Group Limited (ANZ), -$0.25 (1.41%) to $17.53 on volume of 10 million shares;
- Telstra Corporation Limited. (TLS), -$0.04 (0.88%) to $4.49 on volume of 46.2 million shares;
- Brambles Limited (BXB), -$0.07 (0.79%) to $8.77 on volume of 4.1 million shares;
- Commonwealth Bank Of Australia (CBA), -$0.28 (0.63%) to $44.20 on volume of 5.1 million shares; and
- Wesfarmers Limited (WES), -$0.15 (0.42%) to $35.35 on volume of 1.1 million shares.
The ASX Small Ordinaries (XSO) is without doubt the only place where non-mania excess returns lie undiscovered (and they're not widespread). The tidddlers stayed underwater today while the Top20 posted a gain. The Small Ords registered a loss of 30.7 points (1.08%), closing out the session at 2824.2 points.
Among the stocks that make up the Small Caps index, 63 index components finished to the upside, and of the rest, 115 closed lower for the session.The 195 stocks which make up the index traded a total of 240.5m units: volume in the 63 gainers totalling 51.61m shares, with trade totalling 159.84m units in the index's 115 declining components. The major percentage gainers within the index were
- OceanaGold Corporation (OGC), +$0.09 (15.38%) to $0.68 on volume of 169.1 thousand shares;
- Sylvania Resources Limited (SLV), +$0.16 (11.74%) to $1.48 on volume of 14.4 thousand shares;
- Record Realty (RRT), +$0.00 (10%) to $0.04 on volume of 26.3 thousand shares;
- Charter Hall Group (CHC), +$0.08 (9.3%) to $0.94 on volume of 1 million shares; and
- Becton Property Group (BEC), +$0.09 (8.1%) to $1.14 on volume of 446.9 thousand shares.
In the red-zone of the little-stock index was heay in Resources stocks. The following list represents the biggest downers (in terms of percentage decline):
- Mintails Limited (MLI), -$0.04 (17.95%) to $0.16 on volume of 256.6 thousand shares;
- Coeur d'Alene Mines Corporation (CXC), -$0.43 (17.84%) to $1.98 on volume of 240.3 thousand shares;
- Minara Resources Limited (MRE), -$0.22 (15.25%) to $1.20 on volume of 8.4 million shares;
- St Barbara Limited (SBM), -$0.04 (14.29%) to $0.21 on volume of 11.3 million shares; and
- Bannerman Resources Limited (BMN), -$0.17 (11.96%) to $1.22 on volume of 416.2 thousand shares.
|XMD||ASX Mid-Cap 50||4885.9||-11||-0.22||220.5m|
|XSO||ASX Small Ordinaries||2824.2||-30.7||-1.08||240.5m|
GICS Industry Indices
Among the 11 industry indices, 7 registered an advance for the session, the remaining 4 lost ground.
The best performing index was Property Trusts (XPJ), which added 30.7 points (2.12%) to 1479 points. The 21 stocks which make up the index traded a total of 116.6m units; 16 index components rose, with rising volume amounting to 108.52m shares, while the 4 decliners had volume traded totalling 7.38m units. The major percentage gainers within the index were
- Valad Property Group (VPG), +$0.04 (6.14%) to $0.61 on volume of 8.4 million shares;
- Centro Properties Group (CNP), +$0.02 (5.66%) to $0.28 on volume of 8 million shares;
- Dexus Property Group (DXS), +$0.08 (5.26%) to $1.60 on volume of 12.2 million shares;
- Mirvac Group (MGR), +$0.15 (5.07%) to $3.11 on volume of 6.4 million shares; and
- Stockland (SGP), +$0.21 (3.98%) to $5.48 on volume of 4.3 million shares.
Second in the index leadership stakes was Information Technology (XIJ), otherwise known as CPU and IRE. Today the index gained 8.9 points (1.62%) to 558.7 points.backed only by CPU's 2% rise pon volume of 1.67m shares.
- Computershare Limited (CPU), +$0.20 (2.05%) to $9.95 on volume of 1.7 million shares.
The bronze medal for today goes to Healthcare (XHJ), which climbed 127 points (1.4%) to 9195.9 points. The 8 stocks which make up the index traded a total of 9.6m units; 4 index components rose, with rising volume amounting to 5.64m shares, while the 4 decliners had volume traded totalling 3.95m units. The major percentage gainers within the index were
- ResMed Inc. (RMD), +$0.16 (3.27%) to $5.05 on volume of 2.3 million shares;
- CSL Limited (CSL), +$0.84 (2.19%) to $39.14 on volume of 2.2 million shares;
- Healthscope Limited (HSP), +$0.02 (0.45%) to $4.42 on volume of 620.2 thousand shares; and
- Cochlear Limited (COH), +$0.17 (0.36%) to $46.99 on volume of 500 thousand shares.
The worst-performed index for the session was Energy (XEJ), which dipped 205.3 points (1.26%) to 16123.8 points. The 17 stocks which make up the index traded a total of 54.52m units; The 13 decliners had volume traded totalling 48.91m units, and 4 index components rose, with rising volume amounting to 5.61m shares, The major percentage decliners within the index were
- Oil Search Limited (OSH), -$0.35 (6.97%) to $4.67 on volume of 10.4 million shares;
- Nexus Energy Limited (NXS), -$0.08 (6.53%) to $1.15 on volume of 6.8 million shares;
- Felix Resources Limited (FLX), -$0.94 (5.16%) to $17.26 on volume of 528.5 thousand shares;
- Beach Petroleum Limited (BPT), -$0.05 (4.62%) to $0.93 on volume of 10.2 million shares; and
- Santos Limited (STO), -$0.76 (4.47%) to $16.24 on volume of 3.4 million shares.
Just missing out on the wooden spoon was Telecommunications (XTJ), which slid 14.3 points (0.93%) to 1531.6 points. The 3 stocks which make up the index traded a total of 69.44m units; all three fell.
- Singapore Telecommunications Limited. (SGT), -$0.05 (1.75%) to $2.81 on volume of 17.8 million shares;
- Telecom Corporation Of New Zealand Limited (TEL), -$0.03 (1.13%) to $2.63 on volume of 5.5 million shares; and
- Telstra Corporation Limited. (TLS), -$0.04 (0.88%) to $4.49 on volume of 46.2 million shares.
Third-to-last amongst the sector indices was Industrials (XNJ), which slid 19.6 points (0.39%) to 4964.9 points. The 32 stocks which make up the index traded a total of 75.6m units; The 19 decliners had volume traded totalling 38.72m units, and 12 index components rose, with rising volume amounting to 34.69m shares, The major percentage decliners within the index were
- Macquarie Infrastructure Group (MIG), -$0.11 (4%) to $2.64 on volume of 12.3 million shares;
- Gwa International Limited (GWT), -$0.12 (3.99%) to $2.89 on volume of 264.4 thousand shares;
- Macmahon Holdings Limited (MAH), -$0.07 (3.92%) to $1.60 on volume of 992 thousand shares;
- Alesco Corporation Limited (ALS), -$0.26 (3.82%) to $6.54 on volume of 229 thousand shares; and
- United Group Limited. (UGL), -$0.45 (3.22%) to $13.54 on volume of 1.1 million shares.
|XXJ||Financials ex Property Trusts||5218.5||46.4||0.9||80m|
All Ordinaries Major Movers
All Ords Volume Leaders
|TLS||Telstra Corporation Limited.||4.49||-0.04||-0.88||46.2m|
|LGL||Lihir Gold Limited||2.12||-0.15||-6.61||39.2m|
|OZL||OZ Minerals Limited||1.72||-0.06||-3.11||20.6m|
|SGT||Singapore Telecommunications Limited.||2.81||-0.05||-1.75||17.8m|
|BBI||Babcock & Brown Infrastructure Group||0.83||-0.04||-4.6||15.3m|
All Ords Percentage Gainers
|TOE||Toro Energy Limited||0.20||0.03||14.29||200.3k|
|BOC||Bougainville Copper Limited||1.29||0.14||12.17||51k|
|SLV||Sylvania Resources Limited||1.48||0.16||11.74||14.4k|
All Ords Percentage Losers
|CXC||Coeur d'Alene Mines Corporation||1.98||-0.43||-17.84||240.3k|
|MRE||Minara Resources Limited||1.20||-0.22||-15.25||8.4m|
|SBM||St Barbara Limited||0.21||-0.04||-14.29||11.3m|
|ARR||Arasor International Limited||0.13||-0.02||-13.33||163.6k|