Australia

Market Live: ASX flat, aged care dumped

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The index has moved back into the green and is up 6 points at 6171.3 currently. Banking stocks NAB, ANZ, and the Commonwealth Bank are adding points, and so it Wesfarmers, up 0.7 per cent, and South32 is up 1.47 per cent to $3.80.

Aged care stocks are still getting dumped with Estia down 16.8 per cent to $2.45, the lowest price since December 2016. Japara Healthcare is down 14.9 per cent to $1.42, the lowest price since it listed on the stock exchange.

Kidman Resources is down 15.4 per cent after news the Perth Mining Warden had refused an exemption for minimum expenditure obligations at 13 tenements. This could delay the Mt Holland project.

Myer is also down 5.8 per cent to $0.56.

The broader S&P/ASX200 has risen after an early morning drop, when it reached an intra-day low of 6142 points. It is now at 6159.8 points.

The market is responding favourably to NAB's executive changes with the bank up 0.5 per cent to $27.48. Banking reporter Clancy Yeates has the story here. And Telstra is higher at $3.12. AMP, South 32 and APA Group are all adding points.

Japara Healthcare stocks are down 15.8 per cent to $1.41. It looks after 3,500 elderly Australians and has 53 homes across the country, with most in Victoria.

Estia Health is down 15.7 per cent to $2.48.

Regis Healthcare, is down 13.8 per cent to $3.12. Regis has about 55 homes across Australia.

The AFR's Patrick Durkin has more on the aged care sector:

Mr Morrison said that after being briefed on various issues since becoming Prime Minister just over three weeks ago, "walking by these statistics was not possible".

"One of the briefings and one of the sets of information I just could not get past was what was occurring in our residential aged care sector," he said. "As a result of the work that the government has been doing, the unannounced visits, the compliance audits, it has revealed a very disturbing trend in what is happening in terms of non-compliance and abuses and failures of care that have been occurring across the sector."

New government figures reveal a 177 per cent increase last financial year in the number of aged care homes identified as posing a serious risk to residents. There was a 292 per cent increase in the number of facilities that refused to comply with the rules and the Department of Health has closed almost one aged-care service a month in the past year.

Twitter is a good source of videos taken by Hong Kong residents trapped in their apartments while Mangkhut travelled across the region. There is cargo falling overboard, yachts torn from moorings, and warnings that two nuclear power stations were in the storm's path.

Meanwhile the typhoon hit mainland at Jiangmen City, Guangdong Province, last night.


Aged care providers Estia Health and Aveo group are tanking, down 15 per cent and 8.5 per cent respectively, on news the government will hold a royal commission into the aged care sector. Japara health care is down 15.8 per cent to $1.41 and Regis Healthcare is down 13.8 per cent to $3.12.

Prime Minister Morrison's announcement came ahead of a two-part special investigation into aged care by ABC's Four Corners program, with the first episode screening tonight.

Estia is down to $2.51 and Aveo is down to $2.03.

Hong Kong lowered its signal rating for Typhoon Mangkhut to a level that allow the city's stock exchange to open for the trading as normal. In an early-morning advisory, the Hong Kong Observatory reduced its warning status by one notch to Strong Wind Signal No. 3 because winds are expected to moderate. Under stock exchange rules, trading is cancelled if there's a typhoon signal of 8 or higher after 9 a.m.

Macau, the world's largest gambling hub, will resume gaming Monday at all its casinos after Typhoon Mangkhut forced a 33-hour stoppage affecting major operators including Sands China Ltd. and Wynn Macau Ltd. Casinos will reopen at 8 a.m. Monday, the government said in a statement, after being closed at 11 p.m. Saturday with the storm approaching. Industry employees said it was the first time Macau shut down gambling since licenses for casinos were given out in 2002.

It will take a day or so for traffic to return to normal given how many flights and ferries were canceled, said Grant Govertsen, analyst at Union Gaming Securities Asia Ltd., in a note.

"This robs the month of one important weekend day," which typically generate significantly higher gaming revenue than midweek days, he said.

National Australia Bank has just announced Andrew Hagger is leaving his role in the executive leadership team. Mr Hagger was head of consumer of wealth and was heavily criticised in the banking royal commission's initial findings for saying he would have revealed full extent of NAB's fees for no service issues if the corporate regulator had asked "the right questions".

In a press release he said: "It has always been a privilege to serve our customers and play a role in a number of achievements, including the Break-Up campaign which attracted one million new NAB customers and core improvements in our consumer bank and UBank. I take accountability for what has occurred on my watch, and accept that alongside successes were failures, including instances where we did not act with the pace required. I leave NAB with confidence that we are creating a better bank."

Meanwhile, Mike Baird, the former premier of NSW, is being promoted to chief customer officer.

More to come.

SPI futures up 6 points to 6180 as of 5.35am AEST Monday

AUD -0.6% to 71.53 US cents (YTD return -8.4%)

On Wall S: Dow +0.03% S&P 500 +0.03% Nasdaq -0.05%

In New York, BHP +0.8% Rio +0.5% Atlassian +0.8%

In Europe: Stoxx 50 +0.3% FTSE +0.3% CAC +0.5% DAX +0.6%

Spot gold -0.6% to $US1194.85 an ounce in New York Friday

Brent crude -0.1% to $US78.10 a barrel

US oil +0.6% to $US68.98 a barrel

Iron ore -0.8% to $US67.68 a tonne

Dalian iron ore +0.6% to 505 yuan

LME aluminium -1.1% to $US2043 a tonne

LME copper -1% to $US5973 a tonne

2-year yield: US 2.78% Australia 2.02%

5-year yield: US 2.90% Australia 2.16%

10-year yield: US 3% Australia 2.60% Germany 0.45%

US-Australia 10-year yield gap: 40 basis points

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SPI futures are currently indicating a 6-point jump for the ASX200 at the open. The Australian market performed a tepid recovery at the end of last week, closing trade a skerrick below the week's high.Ultimately the market's performance boiled down to strong activity in the energy sector, thanks to Hurricane Florence and a spike in oil prices, coupled with a slight recovering in mining and healthcare stocks as global growth fears waned. The financials struggled again, with a growing chorus calling the banks lower amid tighter credit markets, a local property slowdown and a squeeze on margins from higher funding costs. The capacity apparently exists for the local market to push higher if geopolitical risks diminish, but perhaps some play towards resistance at 6220 is required first to demonstrate signs of fundamental strength.

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