Interdum stultus opportuna loquitur...

Friday, December 12, 2008

OzRant: And So It Goes...

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

It's pretty clear why there is a modest upward bias late every afternoon in Straya - everybody knows that the US government is going to capitulate to the carmakers eventually, and so nobody is brave enough to stay short overnight - the overnight SPI has been trying to front-run the carmaker bailout every night of this week, and often drifts up in the most nonsensical fashion - often 50 or 60 points... begging to be shorted. 

So anyhow - everybody is champing at the bit trying not to get caught short prior to the bailout (which you just know is coming - the political class in the US get big enough bribes from the carmakers), so nobody wants to be short of a night. Given the US government's propensity to launch "Sunday Surprises", that goes double for Fridays. 

The fact that the carmaker bailout 'failed to garner political support' really means that politicians decided that they would wait until the weekend and announce it then (and it will probably grow while it's on ice - the same way the TARP grew from $700b to $850b).

That's why the All Ords and ASX200 bounced 30 points into the close, even as S&P, Dow and Nasdaq futures fell 4% in the US post-market Globex session (the S&P futures have fallen as far as 828.80 - 47 points below the day session close - but have recovered slightly).

For the week, the All Ords rose 25 points (0.72%) and the ASX200 added 20 points (0.57%). Without the little bump upwards into the close.

Oddly enough, folks took some value off the $A during the Asian session - $A dropped over a cent against the USD, even though the USD dropped under 90 Yen at the same time. 

Speaking of recent Yen strength - no doubt you will recall the many many many many times that your beloved GT has banged on about how the Japanese government was wasting trillions of Yen trying to keep the Yen weak? (In fact, they spent over a trillion dollars, when you tot it all up).

It is only 2 years ago that the market would count on BoJ intervention anytime the Yen got below 120 to the USD. Hundreds of billions of Yen were chucked into the market on a weekly basis... and the moment the BoJ stopped, the yen could recommence it's inexorable rise. And today it broke 90 - something that few people thought it would do.

From memory, I think the record low for USD-Yen is just under 80, set back in April 1995. I said in 2001 that eventually Yen would hit 75 to the USD and the USDX would bottom at about 60... that was when the USDX was 120 (it was the night of the all-time high).

A mate of mine forwarded me a video of a little 'round table' involving - among others - Steven Mayne (formerly of Crikey, now a solo act) and Michael Stutchbury (formerly of the Fin Review, now of the Australian). Those two are almost as entertaining as your beloved GT: the perfect roundtable would involve those two, your beloved GT, James Dunn, Anton Tagliaferro and Mavro. 

Imagine it - strident, opinionated, argumentative... and usually right. Mayne is the only other person I know of who refers to brokers as 'ticket clippers'. Like your beloved GT he is rapt that the smart-arse 'financial wizards' (who aren't even very good mathematicians, to be frank) are taking the GatorAde Bottle of Doom up the VordPity that retirees and superannuants are also copping it as a result.

That's the way it is with stupid government 'forced savings' policies - it's all fun and games until someone ends up with a bleeding sphincter.

Major Market Indices

The broad market - the All Ordinaries (XAO) - slid pretty savagely, posting a loss of 81.7 points (2.31%), finishing at 3452.5 points. 

The index hit an intraday high of 3509.1 at 12:48 pm, while the low for the day was 3418.7 - set at 3:13 pm Sydney time before a 30 point bounce.

Total volume traded on the ASX was 1.02bn units, 14.6% below its 10-day average of 1.2bn shares.The ASX's daily listing of all stocks included 1009 different 3-letter FPO's which traded (i.e., had non-zero trade volume). Of these, 322 issues rose, with volume in rising issues totalling 286.3m units; there were 462 declining stocks, which traded aggregate declining volume of 620.4m shares.

Of the 488 All Ordinaries components, 142 rose while 251 fell. Volume was tilted in favour of the losers by a margin of 2.7:1, with 202.55m shares traded in gainers while 555.6m shares traded in the day's losers.

The Index that forms the cash basis for the SPI Futures - the S&P/ASX 200 (XJO) - dipped hard, losing 87.6 points (2.43%), closing out the session at 3510.4 points.

GT Intraday Chart
Name Close +/-(%)
All Ordinaries 3452.50 -81.70 (2.3%)
ASX 20 2112.10 -54.20 (2.5%)
ASX 50 3557.70 -86.30 (2.4%)
ASX 100 2897.80 -71.50 (2.4%)
ASX 200 3510.40 -87.60 (2.4%)
ASX 300 3491.10 -85.40 (2.4%)
ASX Mid-Cap 50 3156.30 -87.20 (2.7%)
ASX Small Ordinaries 1583.70 -35.40 (2.2%)

The "heavy hitters" of the Australian market - the ASX 20 Leaders (XTL) - was taken to the woodshed somewhat, sliding 54.2 points (2.5%), closing out the session at 2112.1 points.

Among the 20 big guns, 3 index components finished to the upside, and 17 lost ground. The stocks which make up the index traded a total of 137.6m units; 3 index components rose, with rising volume amounting to 11.87m shares, while the 17 decliners had volume traded totalling 120.45m units. The major percentage gainers within the index were

  • Newcrest Mining (NCM), +$0.80 (2.93%) to $28.11 on volume of 3.5 million shares;
  • ANZ Banking Group (ANZ), +$0.14 (0.97%) to $14.56 on volume of 5.9 million shares; and
  • Woodside Petroleum (WPL), +$0.29 (0.88%) to $33.06 on volume of 2.4 million shares.

On the less salubrious side of the big-cap fence, the following stocks were the worst-performed within the index:

  • RIO Tinto (RIO), -$3.79 (9.48%) to $36.21 on volume of 3.4 million shares;
  • CSL (CSL), -$2.20 (7.01%) to $29.20 on volume of 4.2 million shares;
  • Macquarie Group (MQG), -$1.75 (5.83%) to $28.25 on volume of 1.6 million shares;
  • BHP Billiton (BHP), -$1.38 (4.57%) to $28.82 on volume of 12.5 million shares; and
  • Woolworths (WOW), -$1.19 (4.54%) to $25.00 on volume of 4.6 million shares.

The ASX Small Ordinaries (XSO) The small end of the market slid in line with its large-cap counterpart. The Small Ords copped a bit of a hiding, sliding 35.4 points (2.19%), closing out the session at 1583.7 points.

Among the stocks that make up the Small Caps index, 74 index components finished to the upside, and of the rest, 112 closed lower for the session.

The 208 stocks which make up the index traded a total of 269.72m units: volume in the 74 gainers totalling 108.47m shares, with trade totalling 144.76m units in the index's 112 declining components. The major percentage gainers within the index were
  • Record Realty (RRT), +$0.00 (33.33%) to $0.01 on volume of 76 thousand shares;
  • Rubicon Japan Trust (RJT), +$0.00 (25%) to $0.01 on volume of 6.1 million shares;
  • Galileo Japan Trust (GJT), +$0.01 (20%) to $0.06 on volume of 2.1 million shares;
  • Australian Agricultural Company. (AAC), +$0.26 (18.84%) to $1.64 on volume of 903.4 thousand shares; and
  • ING Real Estate Community Living Group (ILF), +$0.01 (18.37%) to $0.06 on volume of 861.1 thousand shares.

In the red-zone of the little-stock index, the following list represents the biggest downers (in terms of percentage decline):

  • Alesco Corporation (ALS), -$0.72 (23.61%) to $2.33 on volume of 742.3 thousand shares;
  • Energy World Corporation Ltd (EWC), -$0.05 (17.65%) to $0.21 on volume of 4.3 million shares;
  • Australian Education Trust (AEU), -$0.03 (12.2%) to $0.18 on volume of 831.3 thousand shares;
  • Centennial Coal Company (CEY), -$0.35 (12.07%) to $2.55 on volume of 1.5 million shares; and
  • Rubicon America Trust (RAT), -$0 (11.11%) to $0.01 on volume of 66.3 thousand shares.

Index Changes
Code Name Close +/- % Volume
XAO All Ordinaries 3452.5 -81.7 -2.31 812.2m
XFL ASX 50 3557.7 -86.3 -2.37 302.2m
XJO ASX 200 3510.4 -87.6 -2.43 704.1m
XKO ASX 300 3491.1 -85.4 -2.39 778.3m
XMD ASX Mid-Cap 50 3156.3 -87.2 -2.69 219.9m
XSO ASX Small Ordinaries 1583.7 -35.4 -2.19 256.2m
XTL ASX 20 2112.1 -54.2 -2.5 133m
XTO ASX 100 2897.8 -71.5 -2.41 522m
Market Breadth
Advances 3 18 42 142 74 322
Declines 17 77 153 251 112 462
Advancing Volume 11.9m 84.4m 156m 202.5m 108.5m 286.3m
Declining Volume 120.5m 408.3m 533.7m 555.6m 144.8m 620.4m
GICS Industry Indices

Among the 11 industry indices, the news was universally negative: not a single sector managed to break into the "Win" column.

Since none of the industry sectors registered a gain for the session, there is no point in burdening ourselves with the internal behaviour of advancing sectors... on to the losers.

The worst-performed index for the session was Healthcare (XHJ), which dipped 401.1 points (4.97%) to 7664.4 points. The 9 stocks which make up the index traded a total of 14.34m units; The 8 decliners had volume traded totalling 13.31m units, and volume in the lone rising index component was 1.03m shares, The major percentage decliners within the index were

  • Sigma Pharmaceuticals Ltd (SIP), -$0.09 (7.42%) to $1.06 on volume of 2.3 million shares;
  • CSL (CSL), -$2.2 (7.01%) to $29.20 on volume of 4.2 million shares;
  • Healthscope (HSP), -$0.21 (5%) to $3.99 on volume of 1.1 million shares;
  • Cochlear (COH), -$2.49 (4.72%) to $50.25 on volume of 320.8 thousand shares; and
  • Primary Health Care (PRY), -$0.16 (3.43%) to $4.50 on volume of 1.4 million shares.

Just missing out on the wooden spoon was Materials (XMJ), which slid 308.6 points (3.67%) to 8101.1 points. The 45 stocks which make up the index traded a total of 155.58m units; The 30 decliners had volume traded totalling 107.48m units, and 13 index components rose, with rising volume amounting to 47.5m shares, The major percentage decliners within the index were

  • Fortescue Metals Group Ltd (FMG), -$0.3 (11.03%) to $2.42 on volume of 8.4 million shares;
  • Kagara Zinc (KZL), -$0.04 (10.81%) to $0.33 on volume of 1.5 million shares;
  • James Hardie Industries N.V. (JHX), -$0.43 (10.29%) to $3.75 on volume of 1.9 million shares;
  • Macarthur Coal (MCC), -$0.37 (10.28%) to $3.23 on volume of 610.4 thousand shares; and
  • Avoca Resources (AVO), -$0.17 (10.18%) to $1.50 on volume of 1.1 million shares.

Third-to-last amongst the sector indices was Property Trusts (XPJ), which slid 33.9 points (3.67%) to 889.8 points. The 21 stocks which make up the index traded a total of 185.77m units; The 15 decliners had volume traded totalling 106.33m units, and 3 index components rose, with rising volume amounting to 56.08m shares, The major percentage decliners within the index were

  • ING Office Fund (IOF), -$0.1 (12.66%) to $0.69 on volume of 5.8 million shares;
  • Macquarie DDR Trust (MDT), -$0.01 (10%) to $0.05 on volume of 9.1 million shares;
  • Commonwealth Property Office Fund (CPA), -$0.08 (6.84%) to $1.09 on volume of 3.3 million shares;
  • Tishman Speyer Office Fund (TSO), -$0.01 (6.45%) to $0.15 on volume of 1.3 million shares; and
  • Abacus Property Group (ABP), -$0.02 (6.12%) to $0.23 on volume of 2.2 million shares.

Sector Indices
Code GICS Sector Close +/- % Volume
XTJ Telecommunications 1381.7 -7.6 -0.55 38m
XXJ Financials ex Property Trusts 3725.5 -47.9 -1.27 85m
XEJ Energy 11924.4 -169.8 -1.4 36m
XIJ Information Technology 393.3 -6.4 -1.6 2m
XDJ Consumer Discretionary 1091.7 -20.4 -1.83 38m
XNJ Industrials 3010 -72.7 -2.36 91m
XUJ Utilities 4043.6 -124.6 -2.99 45m
XSJ Consumer Staples 5775.2 -200.5 -3.36 36m
XPJ Property Trusts 889.8 -33.9 -3.67 186m
XMJ Materials 8101.1 -308.6 -3.67 156m
XHJ Healthcare 7664.4 -401.1 -4.97 14m

All Ordinaries Major Movers

All Ords Volume Leaders
Code Name Close +/- % Volume
TLS Telstra Corporation. 4.13 -0.01 -0.24 33.1m
DXS Dexus Property Group 0.91 -0.04 -3.7 26.5m
IIF ING Industrial Fund 0.22 0.03 15.79 21.7m
GMG Goodman Group 0.64 -0.03 -4.48 21.1m
LGL Lihir Gold 2.45 0.10 4.26 20.6m
All Ords Percentage Gainers
Code Name Close +/- % Volume
RRT Record Realty 0.01 0.00 33.33 76k
EBB Everest Babcock & Brown 0.07 0.02 29.63 2.4m
RJT Rubicon Japan Trust 0.01 0.00 25 6.1m
SXE Southern Cross Electrical Engineering Ltd 0.50 0.10 23.75 74k
GJT Galileo Japan Trust 0.06 0.01 20 2.1m
All Ords Percentage Losers
Code Name Close +/- % Volume
NPX Nuplex Industries 2.55 -1.45 -36.25 8.8k
TBG Tutt Bryant Group 0.58 -0.23 -28.12 12.4k
ALS Alesco Corporation 2.33 -0.72 -23.61 742.3k
EWC Energy World Corporation Ltd 0.21 -0.05 -17.65 4.3m
ACR Acrux 0.49 -0.08 -13.39 95.2k