ASX 200: Banks break support

ASX 300 Banks index broke support at 7600, signaling a correction to test primary support at 6750. Declining peaks on the Trend Index confirm selling pressure.

ASX 300 Banks

The ASX 200 REITs index has formed a bearish descending triangle. Breach of support at 1600 would warn of a correction. It seems unlikely that would reach primary support at 1350 because financial markets are searching for yield.

ASX 200 REITs

The ASX 300 Metals & Mining index is also faltering. Expect another test of support at 4100 (neckline of a large head-and-shoulders reversal pattern). Breach would offer a target of 3400. The Trend Index penetrated its descending trendline but a peak near zero would warn of continued selling pressure.

ASX 300 Metals & Mining

Iron ore found short-term support at 80 but continues its primary down-trend. Our long-term target is 65.

Iron Ore

The ASX 200 retreated from resistance at 6800. Declining Trend Index peaks only indicate secondary selling pressure at present. Expect another test of support at 6400. Breach is still unlikely but would offer a target of 5400.

ASX 200

We maintain low exposure to Australian equities, with a focus on defensive and contra-cyclical stocks, because of our bearish outlook.

ASX banks profit squeeze but miners bullish

Iron ore continues its primary decline, having broken support at 90. Expect a test of the long-term target at 65.

Iron Ore

ASX 300 Metals & Mining index rallied during the week. I was expecting another test of support at 4100 ( the neckline of a large head-and-shoulders reversal pattern ) but a higher Money Flow trough near zero indicates buying pressure. A large divergence between iron ore and the Metals & Mining index warns that something is afoot.

ASX 300 Metals & Mining

The CEOs of ANZ, Westpac and NAB this week all mentioned pressure on net interest margins in their earnings announcements.

Net Interest Margins

But as this chart of fee and other income to March 2019 shows, it is not just interest margins that are under pressure. Transaction fees are steadily declining, while low book growth in recent years has resulted in declining lending fees. The recent sharp fall in other fee-based activity is also unlikely to recover as banks shed their troublesome wealth management business units.

Majors: Fees
Source APRA: Major Banks

ASX 300 Banks index retreated below its rising trendline, warning of a correction. Declining peaks on the Trend Index indicate secondary selling pressure. Follow-through below 7600 would strengthen the signal.

ASX 300 Banks

REITs have been experiencing selling pressure in the last few months despite the scramble for yield, with descending peaks on Twiggs Money Flow and a bearish descending triangle. Breach of support at 1600 would offer a short-term target of 1500.

ASX 200 REITs

ASX 200

Financials are mildly bearish but miners are surprisingly bullish. An ascending triangle on the ASX 200 signals buying pressure, while the declining peaks on Money Flow are modest in relation to the overall up-trend. Breakout above 6800 would signal another advance with a target of 7200. Breach of support at 6400 is now less likely but would warn of a decline with a target of 5400. As always, the two biggest sectors, Financials and Mining, are likely to point the way.

ASX 200

We maintain low exposure to Australian equities, with a focus on defensive and contra-cyclical stocks, because of our bearish outlook. But ASX 200 breakout above 6800 would force us to review our outlook.

ASX mixed signals

Residential mortgage activity is recovering in response to recent rate cuts. Buyers are unable to resist the ultra-low finance costs, while APRA is sitting on its hands regarding macro-prudential measures (e.g. reducing maximum LVRs) to prevent another credit/housing bubble. Again, we see a two-speed economy, with mortgage stress in newer suburbs and inner-city units, where homeowners are unable to take advantage of lower rates, and rising prices in older, more established suburbs with lower mortgage exposure.

ASX 200 Financials index is testing resistance at 6500. Higher troughs on the Trend Index indicate buying pressure. There is no sign of a reversal at present but keep a weather eye on primary support at 6000; breach would warn of a primary decline with a target of 5200.

ASX 200 Financials

Banks face headwinds from pressure on interest margins, increased competition from disruptors in the form of neobanks (digital banking service providers), and demands to increase capital buffers which could lead to dividend cuts.

Iron ore is testing support at 90. Breach of support would warn of a decline with a long-term target of 65.

Iron Ore

ASX 300 Metals & Mining index is testing support at 4100, the neckline of a large head-and-shoulders reversal pattern. Declining peaks on the Trend Index signal selling pressure. Breach of support would warn of a decline with a target of 3400.

ASX 300 Metals & Mining

REITs recovered slightly from their recent sell-off but downside risk remains. Breach of support at 1600 would warn of a decline to 1500.

ASX 200 REITs

ASX 200

The ASX 200 continues to give mixed signals. An ascending triangle on the index chart is bullish, but the Trend Index also shows declining peaks, warning of selling pressure. Breakout above 6800 would signal another advance, while breach of support at 6400 would warn of a decline with a target of 5400.

ASX 200

We maintain low exposure to Australian equities, with a focus on defensive and contra-cyclical stocks, because of our bearish outlook.