ASX 200 lifted by resources

The ASX 200 is advancing towards its medium-term target of 7200 after breaking resistance at 6800. A high trend index trough signals buying pressure.

ASX 200

Primary driver of the advance is Resources. Signing of phase one of the US-China trade deal lifted iron ore, which is  testing resistance at 95. Consolidation at/below 95 is likely, however, given that the mid-2019 peak was caused by supply disruption in Brazil.

Iron Ore

The ASX 300 Metals & Mining index is headed for a test of resistance at 4800.

ASX 300 Metals & Mining

Financials are weak, but the ASX 300 Banks index found support at 7250. Respect of the descending trendline would warn of another decline, with a short-term target of 7000. Penetration of the trendline is less likely but would warn that a bottom is forming.

ASX 300 Banks

The ASX 200 REITs index is testing resistance at 1680, reflecting the investor demand for yield.

ASX 200 REITs

A weakening Australian Dollar may lift exports slightly but reflects concerns over the phase one US-China trade deal and the impact substantive purchase commitments made by China will have on other energy and commodity suppliers. Breach of 68.50 would offer a short-term target of 67 US cents.

AUDUSD

We continue to hold a bearish view on the domestic economy but recognize that the tailwind from resources may partly alleviate this. IT and Healthcare sectors are, in our view, over-priced and we maintain our focus on defensive and contra-cyclical (gold) stocks.

ASX 200 breakout

The ASX 200 broke resistance at 6800, signaling a fresh advance. Expect retracement to test the new support level; respect would strengthen the bull signal.

ASX 200

Primary driver of the advance is resources. Talk of an imminent phase 1 US-China trade deal lifted iron ore, which is now testing resistance at 95. Expect retracement to test primary support at 80 but respect would confirm that a base has formed.

Iron Ore

The ASX 300 Metals & Mining index is advancing in step with iron ore prices, with a short-term target of 4800.

ASX 300 Metals & Mining

Financials remain weak, with the ASX 300 Banks index ranging in a bearish narrow band between 7200 and 7500. Respect of the descending trendline would warn of another decline, with a short-term target of 7000.

ASX 300 Banks

The ASX 200 REITs index recovered after a false break below 1580, with a short-term target of 1680.

ASX 200 REITs

We maintain a focus on defensive and contra-cyclical (gold) sectors because of our bearish outlook for the Australian and global economy.

ASX 200 hesitant because of banks

Financials are still weak. The ASX 300 Banks rally appears short-lived, posting a red candle for the week. Expect another test of support at 7200; breach would test primary support at 6750.

ASX 300 Banks

The ASX 200 REITs index recovered above support at 1600. False breaks on both the bull and bear side indicate hesitancy but declining peaks on the Trend Index warn of long-term selling pressure.

ASX 200 REITs

The ASX 300 Metals & Mining index is more bullish, having broken resistance at 4450. Expect retracement to test the new support level; respect would confirm the target of 4800.

ASX 300 Metals & Mining

Talk of an imminent trade deal lifted iron ore above previous support at 90. Expect another test of primary support at 80, but respect would confirm that a base is forming above 80.

Iron Ore

A bearish financial sector is holding the ASX 200 back. Follow-through above recent weekly highs would signal another advance, while reversal below 6600 would test primary support at 6400. Further consolidation between 6400 and 6800 is just as likely given the gradual decline on the Trend Index.

ASX 200

We are avoiding highly-priced growth stocks and focusing on defensive and contra-cyclical sectors because of our bearish outlook for the Australian and global economies.

ASX 200 hesitant

The resources sector is strengthening.

The ASX 300 Metals & Mining index broke resistance at 4450, suggesting another advance. Buoyed by rising iron ore prices, the breakout offers a target of 4800.

ASX 300 Metals & Mining

Talk of an imminent trade deal lifted iron ore above previous support at 90. Expect another test of primary support at 80, but respect would confirm that a base has formed above 80.

Iron Ore

Financials, on the other hand, are still weak.

The ASX 300 Banks index continues in a down-trend. Expect retracement to test resistance at 7600 but reversal seems unlikely at this stage. Respect of resistance would confirm a target of 6800.

ASX 300 Banks

The ASX 200 REITs index broke support at 1600 after a false break through 1650. Typical of a bull trap, expect a decline to test support at 1500.

ASX 200 REITs

A bearish outlook for banks is keeping the ASX 200 hesitant. The daily chart shows narrow consolidation below resistance at 6750; a bullish sign. Breakout is likely but the Trend Index below zero warns that buyers are cautious.

ASX 200

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

Banks drag on ASX 200

Banks are plagued by fears of large AUSTRAC penalties for breaches of anti money-laundering and counter-terrorism regulations. Commonwealth have paid a $700 million fine, Westpac have already been charged, NAB alerted investors of potential liabilities in their annual report, while ANZ says there are no signs of transgressions.

In other problem areas, mortgage stress continues to rise, with Martin North (Digital Finance Analytics) estimating that 32.5% of households are now in mortgage stress “based on an assessment of their cash flow.” Worst hit are fringe suburbs, where the rate is as high as 60%.

Elsewhere, RBNZ eased their calls for major banks to increase Common Equity Tier 1 Capital (CET1) to 13.5%, with a further 2.5% comprising other forms of capital such as hybrids and convertible preference shares, and relaxed the phase-in from 5 to 7 years. But the changes will still $13.8 billion in additional capital, according to the big four banks. APRA, by comparison, requires a CET1 ratio of 10.5%.

The ASX 300 Banks index continues to trend lower, with declining peaks on the Trend Index warning of selling pressure. Expect retracement to test resistance at 7600; respect would confirm the  target of 6800.

ASX 300 Banks

The ASX 200 REITs index is again testing support at 1600 after a false break above 1650. Breach of support remains unlikely, with financial markets searching for yield, but would offer a target of 1500.

ASX 200 REITs

Iron ore has made a bear market rally to test resistance at 90. Respect of resistance is likely and would warn of another decline.

Iron Ore

A Trend Index peak near zero on the ASX 300 Metals & Mining index warns of another test of support at 4100 (neckline of a large head-and-shoulders reversal pattern). Breach would offer a target of 3400, while respect of support would indicate that a base is forming.

ASX 300 Metals & Mining

Declining banks are dragging the ASX 200 lower and another test of support at 6400 is likely. A resources sector reversal would increase the chance of top forming on the broad index

ASX 200

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

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 200 diverges from fundamentals

Seasonally adjusted labour force estimates show a decline in October 2019:

  • Employment decreased by 19,000 to 12,919,200 people
    (full-time -10,300 and part-time -8,700).
  • Unemployment rate increased by 0.1 pts to 5.3%.
  • Monthly hours worked in all jobs decreased by 2.8 million hours to 1,783.9 million hours.

The leading indicator of employment has been predicting a down-turn in employment for some time, recording its sixteenth consecutive monthly fall in November.

Australia: Leading Employment Indicator

Job advertisements have also declined since late 2018.

Australia: Job Ads & Vacancies

Falling employment has a knock-on effect in other areas of the economy:

According to Tony Weber, chief executive of the FCAI, new vehicles have now seen the nineteenth consecutive month of decreasing sales in the Australian market, with October 2019 sales down 9.1% compared to October 2018.

“Year to date sales of new motor vehicles in 2019 are almost 78,000 units (eight per cent) lower than the same period in 2018…”

Retail sales are also soft:

In volume terms, the seasonally adjusted estimate for the September quarter 2019 fell 0.1%. This follows a 0.1% rise in the June quarter 2019, and a 0.1% fall in the March quarter 2019.

But the ASX 200, seemingly unperturbed, is testing resistance at 6800. Breakout would signal a primary advance with a target of 7200. Breach of support at 6400 seems unlikely but would warn of a decline with a target of 5400.

ASX 200

There are, however, signs of weakness in the largest two sectors.

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

ASX 300 Banks

A hanging man candlestick warns the ASX 300 Metals & Mining index is likely to again test support at 4100 ( the neckline of a large head-and-shoulders reversal pattern ). A Trend Index peak near zero would indicate continued selling pressure.

ASX 300 Metals & Mining

Iron ore continues its primary decline, since breaking support at 90. Our long-term target is 65.

Iron Ore

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 re-examine our 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: Iron ore breaks support

Iron ore broke support at 90, falling sharply to $83.55/ton. Expect a decline to test the long-term target at 65.

Iron Ore

ASX 300 Metals & Mining index rallied slightly but another test of support at 4100 is likely — the neckline of a large head-and-shoulders reversal pattern. Declining peaks on the Trend Index warn of selling pressure. Completion of the head-and-shoulders reversal would offer a target of 3400.

ASX 300 Metals & Mining

Residential mortgage activity is recovering in response to recent rate cuts but banks are under pressure, with lower interest margins, lower fee income and high remediation costs from malpractices exposed by the Royal Commission.

ANZ reported a flat full-year profit at $6.4 billion but revealed margin and retail fee pressure:

“The halving of the Reserve Bank’s cash rate during the year was the major factor in a 12 basis point compression of ANZ’s net interest margin to about 1.72 per cent. The net interest margin is the difference between the bank’s funding costs and what it charges for loans, and it’s as low as it has ever been – in the mid-1990s the margin was about 4 per cent – with no reason to believe the pressure on margins will abate.” [Stephen Bartholomeusz]

ASX 200 Financials index met resistance at 6500. Declining peaks on the Trend Index now indicate selling pressure. Expect a test of primary support at 6000; breach would offer a target of 5300.

ASX 200 Financials

REITs recovered slightly from their recent sell-off but the descending triangle is bearish. A lower Trend Index peak would strengthen the bear signal. Breach of support at 1600 would offer a short-term target of 1500.

ASX 200 REITs

ASX 200

The ASX 200 continues to give mixed signals. An ascending triangle on the index chart is bullish, but declining peaks on the Trend Index warn 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. The two biggest sectors, Financials and Mining, are likely to lead 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.

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.