Patrick Poke

"Best in breed" JB Hi-Fi's results could be a harbinger of tough times for Australian retailers; Vanguard cuts its expected returns for equities over the coming decade; and George Soros says that Europe is "sleepwalking into oblivion". Here's what's happening in markets today.

What I'm reading

JB Hi-Fi is the proverbial "canary in the coal mine"

JB Hi-Fi rallied on the back of what appeared to be a strong result yesterday. However, a look under the surface reveals a less appealing outlook, both for JB, and for Australian retailers more broadly.

Read article

See Roger Montgomery's take on the result on Livewire

Vanguard slashes return expectations

Vanguard, one of the world's largest asset managers, has cuts its expectations for US equities from 8% p.a. to 5% p.a. over the next 10 years.

Read article

Soros: Europe, please wake up

Legendary hedge fund manager and philanthropist, George Soros, has penned an article calling on the pro-Europe majority to mobilize, or face the same fate as the Soviet Union in 1991.

Read article

Investors pile into cash

Reuters just shared some great charts showing the flow of funds into money market assets over the last few months.

See charts

Read accompanying article

Stocks to watch

  • Transurban (TCL) released half-yearly results, showing EBITDA up 9.8% and average daily traffic up 2.7%
  • Macquarie Group (MQG) provided a trading update. Management expects FY19 results to be 15% up on FY18
  • Challenger Limited (CGF) released its half-yearly results. Normalised net profit is down 4%, while statuory profits fell 97% due to a negative investment experience
  • Gold miner Northern Star (NST) released an operational update on its recent acquired Pogo Mine in Alaska which showed exploration results that were better than expected based on the company's due diligence.

Key market data

  • ASX Futures: 6,017.5 (+0.38%)
  • AUD/USD: 0.7060 (-0.56%)
  • ASX200: 6,060.80 (-0.18%)
  • S&P 500: 2,709.80 (+0.07%)
  • China A50: 11,640.82 (+1.25%)
  • Australia 2-yr bond: 1.728 (+1.17%)
  • Australia 10-yr bond: 2.082 (-0.29%)
  • US 2-yr bond: 2.487 (+0.83%)
  • US 10-yr bond: 2.654 (+0.75%)
  • Gold (USD/oz): 1,311.65 (-0.44%)
  • Copper (USD/lb): 2.788 (-0.82%)
  • Brent Oil (USD/bbl): 61.58 (-0.57%)
  • 62% Iron Ore (USD/t): 89.80 (-1.86%)

Upcoming releases and events

  • ABS home loan and property investment loan data for December is released at 11:30am
  • The NAB Business Confidence Index for January is released at 11:30am
  • Westpac's Consumer Confidence Index for February is released tomorrow morning
  • US CPI data for January is released early Thursday morning Sydney time.

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