article 3 months old

The Overnight Report: Bonds On The Move

Daily Market Reports | Oct 28 2016

This story features COMPUTERSHARE LIMITED, and other companies. For more info SHARE ANALYSIS: CPU

By Greg Peel

The Dow closed down 29 points or 0.2% while the S&P lost 0.3% to 2133 and the Nasdaq fell 0.7%.

Sell Australia

It seemed as if we had found a bottom in the ASX200 at 5350 technical support yesterday as the index spent the morning holding its ground, following Wednesday’s surprisingly severe sell-off. But 5350 prove only a pivot point as there seemed no great desire to drive a rebound.

And sure enough, another wave of selling hit at midday, and down we went again. Reports suggest the selling has been futures-led, implying a large fund manager or fund managers have decided to “Sell Australia”. It only takes a small reallocation of a giant global portfolio to send little old Australia spiralling.

The quickest way to achieve a wholesale “Sell Australia” is to first sell the SPI futures on the ASX200. This locks in the exit, and fund managers can at a later date, when the dust settles, sell actual stock positions and buy back the futures at a lower level. When the futures are sold, those on the buy-side have the unenviable task of trying to cover by selling stocks into a falling market.

And it is unenviable at present because the local market is in a panicky mood anyway, sparked by a run of bad news coming out of AGMs and other matters. We can see the market-wide confirmation in the fact all sectors, bar one, fell in unison yesterday and the hardest hit were those where the large caps mostly reside. The top 20 will give you about an 80% or more replication of the whole 200 in market cap terms. Only info tech finished in the green, dominated by Computershare ((CPU)) which is being supported by rising US rates.

There were only a couple of notable up-movers bucking the trend otherwise – one being Ardent Leisure ((AAD)), which saw some bargain hunting despite a rather poor AGM performance. Challenger ((CGF)) has gone from strength to strength lately on the popularity of annuities, and it jumped another 4% after its AGM.

On the other side of the ledger, the biggest percentage moves down were reserved for resource sector stocks. Outside of an 11% drop for APN News & Media ((APN)) on capital raising dilution, eight of the other nine top ten down-movers were miners – the same miners who have been enjoying stellar runs lately on improved commodity prices (eg South32, Whitehaven) or futuristic over-exuberance (eg Orocobre, Syrah).

Clearly those investors having dined out lately on the outperformance of their mining-weighted portfolios were in a desperate race to lock in profits yesterday before the sky fell in.

The other big news was of course National Bank’s ((NAB)) decision not to cut its dividend, yet. NAB thus managed to fight back against solid bank selling.

Ticking Up

US monthly data flow of late has been fair to reasonable, positive but not shooting the lights out. Either way, not bad enough for the market to assume the Fed won’t hike in December. Tonight sees the more substantive first estimate of September quarter GDP, so any shock there might change the mood. But these days both the Atlanta and NY Feds publish continuous GDP run rates, thus expectations of around 2.5% growth have fairly solid evidence behind them.

As we move closer to December, the US ten-year yield is again starting to tick up. Last night it rose 5 basis points to 1.84%. We recall that 1.85% was the pre-Brexit vote high, hence traders assume that a break of 1.85% could mean a rush back to 2%. And it’s not just US Treasuries. Bunds, gilts, JGBs and others are all quietly on the move.

It’s not good news for bond-proxy stocks, hence an early one hundred point fall in the Dow last night was largely driven by telcos, utilities, REITs and the like. Yet as we have seen so often in past sessions, the early drop was met by a choppy recovery.

Choppiness can be put down to individual earnings results, which continue to be mixed but net positive, while fourth quarter guidance remains an area of concern. Among the Dow stocks, last night saw a miss from Ford and a 1% drop and a miss from Colgate-Palmolive and a 1% drop, while outside the Dow, ConocoPhillips was a winner and jumped 5%.

This morning’s major after-the-bell reports see Amazon down 5% and Dow component Alphabet (Google) up 1%.

The other big market influence at present is of course oil, and it found some support last night after Saudi Arabia actually came out with a number – a 4% production cut from those who can cop it. While the official meeting is not until the end of November, this weekend sees another gathering to further nut out possibilities.

Could it be that this time there really is a wolf?


West Texas crude is up US49c at US$49.60/bbl.

Base metal prices all rose around about 1%, except lead, which rose modestly.

Iron ore finally retreated, down US40c to US$62.30/oz.

The US dollar index is up 0.3% at 98.91 and gold is relatively steady at US$1269.00/oz.

The Aussie is down 0.7% at US$0.7588. This may give weight to the assumption stock market selling is coming from offshore.


The SPI Overnight is rather boldly up 28 points or 0.5%. This would suggest that maybe the selling has now been completed, or at least the market hopes it has. There should be some bargains on offer.

Locally we see the September quarter PPI and September new homes sales numbers today. Tonight the US GDP will be in focus.

Woolworths ((WOW)) will report September quarter sales today. Having seen what happened to its rival, they would want to be good.

Macquarie Group ((MQG)) releases first half earnings.

And there’s another handful of AGMs.

Rudi will connect with Sky Business today, via Skype, to discuss broker calls for about ten minutes, starting around 11.05am.

All overnight and intraday prices, average prices, currency conversions and charts for stock indices, currencies, commodities, bonds, VIX and more available in the FNArena Cockpit.  Click here. (Subscribers can access prices in the Cockpit.)

(Readers should note that all commentary, observations, names and calculations are provided for informative and educational purposes only. Investors should always consult with their licensed investment advisor first, before making any decisions. All views expressed are the author's and not by association FNArena's – see disclaimer on the website)

All paying members at FNArena are being reminded they can set an email alert specifically for The Overnight Report. Go to Portfolio and Alerts in the Cockpit and tick the box in front of The Overnight Report. You will receive an email alert every time a new Overnight Report has been published on the website.

Find out why FNArena subscribers like the service so much: "Your Feedback (Thank You)" – Warning this story contains unashamedly positive feedback on the service provided.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn

Click to view our Glossary of Financial Terms