Patrick Poke

David Murray could be ousted at AMP by activist shareholders; Venezuela in crisis, while Russia and US disagree on who is President; and Moody's warns on the dangers in corporate bond markets. Here's what's happening in markets today. 

What I'm reading

David Murray might not survive at AMP

AMP's new Chairman, David Murray, faces the very real possibility of a shareholder revolt at the company's AGM in a few month's time. A large number of major shareholders are unhappy with how the sale of AMP's insurance business has been handled. 

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Crisis in Venezuela

Opposition leader, Juan Guaido declared himself interim President of Venezuela in an effort to oust the unpopular President Nicholas Maduro, who's been blamed for hyperinflation and food shortages. Many countries, including the US, Canada, and Brazil, have backed Guaido, but Russia, Turkey, Bolivia, and others continue to support Maduro. 

Read article

Moody's warns on corporate debt risks

Credit investors are taking on high levels of risk, as low-rated, low-covenant debt has risen in popularity. Seth Klarman also warned of this in his recent letter to investors, while Jonathan Rochford has been warning about it on Livewire for some years.

Read article

Stocks to watch

  • AMP (AMP) announced interim FY18 result (FY ends on 31 December), with the dividend being slashed by over 70% to just 4c. Annother $200m of provisions have been announced for advice remediation, and profit attributable to shareholders fell to $30m ($680m underlying profit). 
  • Resmed (RMD) announced second quarter results, with revenue and operating profit both up 8%.
  • Netwealth (NWL) announced December quarterly results, it saw a small drop in funds under administration as market movements more than offset its inflows for the quarter. 

Key market data

  • ASX Futures: 5825 (-0.07%)
  • AUD/USD: 0.7094 (-0.78%)
  • ASX200: 5,865.7  (+0.38%)
  • S&P 500: 2,642.33 (+0.14%)
  • China A50: 11,018.51 (+0.73%)
  • Australia 2-yr bond: 1.822 (-2.25%)
  • Australia 10-yr bond: 2.215 (-2.47%)
  • US 2-yr bond: 2.566 (-0.95%)
  • US 10-yr bond: 2.716 (-1.43%)
  • Gold (USD/oz): 1,280.15 (+0.01%)
  • Copper (USD/lb): 2.647 (-0.36%)
  • Brent Oil (USD/bbl): 61.20 (+0.13%)
  • 62% Iron Ore (USD/t): 75.2  (+0.6%)

Upcoming releases and events

  • The World Economic Forum at Davos wraps up tonight Sydney time
  • Markets closed on Monday for Australia Day
  • Australian CPI for Q4 is released next Wednesday
  • RBA rate decision next Thursday - the ASX's RBA Rate Indicator is indcating 0% chance of a rate change. 

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