ASX 200: Miners rally but banks a worry

The ASX 200 found support at 6120/6150, with a long tail indicating buying interest. Follow-through above 6250 would suggest another advance. Breach is now unlikely but would warn of a test of the rising long-term trendline at 6000.

ASX 200

A rally on resources stocks helped support the overall index. Expect the ASX 300 Metals & Mining index to test 4000.

ASX 300 Metals & Mining

Miners were helped by a weakening Aussie Dollar. Breach of support at 71 US cents offers a target of 69 cents. Trend Index peaks below zero warn of strong selling pressure.

AUDUSD

Banks, on the other hand, are weakening. The ASX 300 Banks index  broke support at 7700, with a declining Trend Index warning of selling pressure. Expect a test of primary support at 7300.

ASX 300 Banks Index

Falling broad money and credit growth warn of a contraction — unless an unlikely Chinese-led mining boom can keep the wolf from the door.

Broad Money and Credit Growth

House prices are falling.

House Prices

Returns on bank equity are declining due to increased capital requirements, lower credit growth and narrow margins.

Banks Return on Equity

I remain cautious on Australian stocks, holding over 30% cash in the Australian Growth portfolio.

China hot money heads for the exit

Huw McKay at Westpac writes:

“The Jan-Feb FX positions of China’s banks imply that FX reserves fell in the early part of the year, despite back to back monster trade surpluses of $US60 billion. The logical conclusion is that money flowed out in a big way on the financial account.”

There are two reasons why capital would flow out on the financial account. The usual explanation is the PBOC buying US Treasuries, exporting capital to prevent the yuan appreciating against the Dollar. But Huw points out that the PBOC balance sheet shows a slight decline in foreign assets held. This could be a smokescreen, with investments channeled through an intermediary. Otherwise, it could be a sign that private capital is leaving for safer shores. This from the Business Times:

More than 76,000 Chinese millionaires emigrated or acquired citizenship of another country in the decade through 2013 amid global expansion by the nation’s companies.

Australia was among the most favored destinations, broker Knight Frank LLP said on Thursday, citing data compiled by law firm Fragomen LLP. The Chinese accounted for more than 90 percent of applications for the country’s significant investor visa in the two years to the end of January, representing 1,384 people. They also make the most applications for high-net-worth visas in the UK and the US.

Consumer confidence is below 2008/2009 levels and declining.