What's happening in markets? Monday 18 February

Patrick Poke

Livewire Markets

A tiny Swiss company thinks it can change the world and stop climate change; auction clearance rates in Melbourne and Sydney recover while AFR reports “huge sentiment shift”; and how much impact does timing your stock purchases well really have? Here’s what’s happening in markets today.

What I'm reading

Promising potential for carbon removal system

A small Swiss firm named Climeworks is building a carbon dioxide capture system that uses the waste CO2 from electricity generation to help grow fruit and vegetables.

Read article

Auction clearance rates recover in Sydney and Melbourne

The AFR reported this weekend that Sydney and Melbourne had hit multi-month highs for auction clearance rates as buyers re-entered the market following the summer-lull. However, some property analysts seemed sceptical of the numbers.

Read article (AFR sub required)

Does timing really matter?

If someone put $1,000 p.a. into the S&P500 over the last 30 years, on the best possible day of the year each year, today they’d have $155,769. But what if they invested on the worst day of the year?

Find out here

Stocks to watch

The following companies reported half-year results this morning:

  • Freelancer (FLN)
  • Netwealth Group (NWL)
  • McGrath (MEA)
  • Imdex (IMD)
  • Smartgroup Corporation (SIQ)
  • Helloworld Travel (HLO)
  • iSelect (ISU)
  • Brambles (BXB)
  • NIB (NHF)
  • Rhipe (RHP)
  • GWA Group (GWA).


  • Bingo Industries (BIN) issued a profit warning and now expects FY19 underlying EBITDA to be broadly in line with last year.
  • Westpac Banking Corporation (WBC) provided its Q1 update, showing unaudited cash profit of $2.04B.

Key market data

  • ASX Futures: 6,056.0 (+1.04%)
  • AUD/USD: 0.7136 (+0.43%)
  • ASX200: 6,066.10 (+0.11%)
  • S&P 500:  2,775.60 (+1.09%)
  • China A50: 11,562.03 (-2.41%)
  • Australia 2-yr bond: 1.777 (+1.25%)
  • Australia 10-yr bond: 2.131 (1.43%)
  • US 2-yr bond: 2.518 (+0.89%)
  • US 10-yr bond: 2.664 (+0.34%)
  • Gold (USD/oz): 1,324.50 (+0.18%)
  • Copper (USD/lb): 2.816 (+0.61%)
  • Brent Oil (USD/bbl): 66.31 (+2.69%)
  • 62% Iron Ore (USD/t): 87.6 (+0.29%)

Upcoming events and releases

  • US markets closed for President’s Day
  • RBA Board Meeting Minutes are released today at 11:30am AEST
  • Westpac’s Leading Index for January is published on Wednesday
  • The ABS’ Wage Pride Index for Q4 is released on Wednesday.

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Patrick Poke
Managing Editor
Livewire Markets

Patrick was one of Livewire’s first employees, joining in 2015 after nearly a decade working in insurance, superannuation, and retail banking. He is passionate about investing, with a particular interest in Australian small-caps.


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