Bridgewater Associates LP Has Lifted Zions Bancorporation NA (ZION) Stake by $3.76 Million; P …

Bridgewater Associates Lp increased its stake in Zions Bancorporation N A (ZION) by 281.87% based on its latest 2019Q1 regulatory filing with the …

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Bridgewater Associates Lp increased its stake in Zions Bancorporation N A (ZION) by 281.87% based on its latest 2019Q1 regulatory filing with the SEC. Bridgewater Associates Lp bought 83,631 shares as the company’s stock declined 7.23% . The hedge fund held 113,301 shares of the major banks company at the end of 2019Q1, valued at $5.15 million, up from 29,670 at the end of the previous reported quarter. Bridgewater Associates Lp who had been investing in Zions Bancorporation N A for a number of months, seems to be bullish on the $7.24 billion market cap company. The stock decreased 0.49% or $0.2 during the last trading session, reaching $40.94. About 1.73 million shares traded. Zions Bancorporation, National Association (NASDAQ:ZION) has declined 13.96% since September 9, 2018 and is downtrending. It has underperformed by 13.96% the S&P500. Some Historical ZION News: 25/05/2018 – Zions Banc Presenting at Deutsche Bank Conference May 30; 10/04/2018 – ZIONS BANCORP SAYS ON APRIL 05, UNDER TERMS OF PLAN OF MERGER, CO WILL BE MERGED WITH AND INTO UNIT, WITH UNIT CONTINUING AS SURVIVING ENTITY; 14/05/2018 – Zions Banc Presenting at Barclays Conference Tomorrow

P Schoenfeld Asset Management Lp increased its stake in Bhp Group Plc (BBL) by 114.83% based on its latest 2019Q1 regulatory filing with the SEC. P Schoenfeld Asset Management Lp bought 463,336 shares as the company’s stock rose 3.20% . The hedge fund held 866,836 shares of the coal mining company at the end of 2019Q1, valued at $41.85M, up from 403,500 at the end of the previous reported quarter. P Schoenfeld Asset Management Lp who had been investing in Bhp Group Plc for a number of months, seems to be bullish on the $109.25 billion market cap company. The stock decreased 0.37% or $0.16 during the last trading session, reaching $43.13. About 1.02 million shares traded. BHP Group (NYSE:BBL) has risen 10.27% since September 9, 2018 and is uptrending. It has outperformed by 10.27% the S&P500. Some Historical BBL News: 12/03/2018 – WOODSIDE & BHP ENTERED INTO PACT IN RELATION ON SCARBOROUGH; 06/04/2018 – BHP TO ELIMINATE ALL FRESH WATER USE IN CHILE BY 2030: MALCHUK; 06/04/2018 – BHP EXPECTS TO CUT FRESH WATER USE 15% IN NEXT 5 YEARS GLOBALLY; 09/04/2018 – BHP BILLITON PLC BLT.L : SOCGEN RAISES TO BUY FROM HOLD; 23/04/2018 – ADRs End Slightly Lower; BHP Billiton, Fresenius and Royal Philips Trade Actively; 07/05/2018 – BHP’s Balhuizen Sees Oil Markets Rebalancing in 2018 (Video); 20/03/2018 – HIGHLIGHTS-Top trading houses speak at commodities conference; 06/03/2018 – BHP Exec: Shale has Limited Shelf Life — CERAWeek Market Talk; 18/04/2018 – ADELAIDE BRIGHTON LTD – ADELAIDE BRIGHTON SIGNS MAJOR SA CEMENT CONTRACT,BHP-ABC.AX; 29/04/2018 – BHP Billiton Target Prices Lifted 3%-9% to A$36, GBP17.80, ZAR310 by Macquarie

More notable recent BHP Group (NYSE:BBL) news were published by: which released: “World Energy Congress kicks off – Seeking Alpha” on September 09, 2019, also with their article: “Lanny’s March Dividend Income Summary – Seeking Alpha” published on March 31, 2019, published: “BHP Billiton: We Need To See Support From Commodity Prices – Seeking Alpha” on December 10, 2018. More interesting news about BHP Group (NYSE:BBL) were released by: and their article: “BHP Billiton – Enormous Mining Company With Strong Assets – Seeking Alpha” published on January 08, 2018 as well as‘s news article titled: “Lanny’s August Dividend Income Summary – Seeking Alpha” with publication date: September 02, 2019.

P Schoenfeld Asset Management Lp, which manages about $3.34B and $1.27B US Long portfolio, decreased its stake in Trinity Inds Inc (NYSE:TRN) by 356,811 shares to 1.50 million shares, valued at $32.65M in 2019Q1, according to the filing. It also reduced its holding in Dell Technologies Inc (Call) by 834,538 shares in the quarter, leaving it with 700,000 shares, and cut its stake in Vodafone Group Plc New (NASDAQ:VOD).

Bridgewater Associates Lp, which manages about $16.33B US Long portfolio, decreased its stake in Colgate Palmolive Co (NYSE:CL) by 576,766 shares to 3,145 shares, valued at $216,000 in 2019Q1, according to the filing. It also reduced its holding in Pembina Pipeline Corp (NYSE:PBA) by 38,620 shares in the quarter, leaving it with 156,702 shares, and cut its stake in Edison Intl (NYSE:EIX).

Investors sentiment increased to 1.15 in 2019 Q1. Its up 0.31, from 0.84 in 2018Q4. It increased, as 30 investors sold ZION shares while 152 reduced holdings. 70 funds opened positions while 139 raised stakes. 168.18 million shares or 1.18% less from 170.19 million shares in 2018Q4 were reported. British Columbia – Canada-based British Columbia Investment has invested 0.02% in Zions Bancorporation, National Association (NASDAQ:ZION). Moreover, Hudson Bay Capital Mngmt Ltd Partnership has 0.07% invested in Zions Bancorporation, National Association (NASDAQ:ZION). Thrivent For Lutherans holds 0.67% or 4.70M shares. Thomas White Int Limited owns 14,900 shares. Gotham Asset Llc owns 19,562 shares. Glenmede Trust Na holds 166,964 shares. Janney Montgomery Scott Llc reported 0% in Zions Bancorporation, National Association (NASDAQ:ZION). Bnp Paribas Asset Sa stated it has 0.02% in Zions Bancorporation, National Association (NASDAQ:ZION). Norinchukin Bancshares The, a Japan-based fund reported 14,699 shares. Horizon Inv Serv Limited Company accumulated 2.46% or 79,419 shares. Pinnacle Limited Liability Corp invested 0% of its portfolio in Zions Bancorporation, National Association (NASDAQ:ZION). Blair William And Co Il accumulated 5,840 shares. Whittier Tru Com Of Nevada holds 1,804 shares or 0.01% of its portfolio. Brant Point Investment Mngmt Llc has 75,307 shares. Suntrust Banks Inc holds 0.01% or 45,120 shares in its portfolio.

More notable recent Zions Bancorporation, National Association (NASDAQ:ZION) news were published by: which released: “Zions Bancorporation N.A. (ZION) Ex-Dividend Date Scheduled for August 14, 2019 – Nasdaq” on August 13, 2019, also with their article: “Why Zions (ZION) is a Great Dividend Stock Right Now – Nasdaq” published on July 02, 2019, published: “This is Why Zions (ZION) is a Great Dividend Stock – Nasdaq” on July 18, 2019. More interesting news about Zions Bancorporation, National Association (NASDAQ:ZION) were released by: and their article: “Commit To Purchase Zions Bancorporation At $35, Earn 5.5% Annualized Using Options – Nasdaq” published on September 05, 2019 as well as‘s news article titled: “Elevated Costs, Risky Loans Hurt Zions (ZION): Time to Sell? – Nasdaq” with publication date: September 03, 2019.

Zions Bancorporation, National Association (NASDAQ:ZION) Institutional Positions Chart

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FTSE 100 movers: Burberry and TUI gain; miners drop as metals prices fall

London’s FTSE 100 was up 1.1% at 7,206.07 in afternoon trade on Wednesday as sterling fell on Brexit concerns ahead of Prime Minister Boris …

Luxury fashion brand Burberry was the sitting pretty at the top of the index, with some traders pointing to the fact there has been no escalation of unrest in Hong Kong.

Travel operator TUI was also firmly in the green.

UAE-based private healthcare operator NMC Health and Irish building materials group CRH advanced ahead of their interim results on Thursday.

On the downside, miners BHP and Rio Tinto were on the back foot as base metals prices fell.

FTSE 100 – Risers

Burberry Group (BRBY)2,200.00p4.31%

TUI AG Reg Shs (DI) (TUI)785.80p3.31%

Smith (DS) (SMDS)332.26p3.12%

Flutter Entertainment (FLTR)6,632.00p3.08%

CRH (CRH)2,685.00p3.07%

NMC Health (NMC)1,911.00p2.74%

Mondi (MNDI)1,607.50p2.58%

Smurfit Kappa Group (SKG)2,464.00p2.50%

DCC (DCC)6,748.00p2.49%

Ashtead Group (AHT)2,169.00p2.41%

FTSE 100 – Fallers

Phoenix Group Holdings (PHNX)646.60p-1.96%

Legal & General Group (LGEN)221.55p-1.09%

BHP Group (BHP)1,717.00p-1.03%

Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS)183.45p-0.57%

Tesco (TSCO)215.04p-0.31%

BT Group (BT.A)162.46p-0.23%

Rio Tinto (RIO)4,003.50p-0.15%

Admiral Group (ADM)2,173.00p-0.09%

Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY)49.78p0.11%

Direct Line Insurance Group (DLG)293.40p0.14%

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FTSE 100 marches higher, with Wall Street expected to join fun

… (LON:RIO) down amid falling base metals prices, and two general insurers, Admiral Group PLC (LON:ADM) and Direct Line Insurance (LON:DLG).
  • FTSE 100 closes higher

  • Sterling’s loss is Footsie’s gain

  • All eyes on Fed minutes

FTSE 100 closed higher midweek as traders awaited the publications minutes from last month’s US Federal Reserve meeting.

Traders hope the tone from the US monetary policy committee meeting will be towards a further easing of interest rates, rather than a tightening of policy, which is making dealers buy up shares.

“In late July, the Fed cut rates, and dealers are banking on dovish language in the report, which might signal further rate cuts this year,” noted David Madden, analyst at London-based CMC Markets.

“Since the rate cut, the global macroeconomic mood has soured – US-China trade tensions, the UK and Germany saw negative growth, and increased unrest in Hong Kong,” he added.

The UK’s premier share index finished up 78.97 points at 7,203.97. Meanwhile, the more UK company focused FTSE 250 added 199.66 points at 19,207.75 as no-deal Brexit fears were apparently pushed aside.

On currency markets, the pound lost 0.22% against the US dollar further supporting the internationally-focused Footsie, while the gold price was near flat at US$1,513 an ounce.

3.25pm: Markets upbeat

US stocks have joined in with global markets’ good mood, with retailers Target Corporation and Lowe’s Co leading the way after they reported earnings.

The Dow Jones climbed 222 points or 0.9% to 26,186, while the S&P 500 index was up 0.8% and the Nasdaq Composite gained 0.9%.

With market watchers fretting about a possible recession, the retail pair both reported strong consumer demand.

Target shares surged 19% to an all-time high above $101 after second-quarter results from the discounter topped analyst expectations, with same-store sales growing 3.4% compared to the 2.9% expected.

Home improvement chain Lowe’s jumped 11% to $108.43 as it beat the Street’s estimates on revenue, same-store sales and earnings.

“We capitalized on spring demand, strong holiday event execution and growth in paint and our pro business to deliver strong second quarter results,” said chief executive Marvin Ellison, who has been at the company just over a year ago.

Meanwhile, in Brexitland, the pound lurched to day’s lows as newswires AFP and Bloomberg reported that the French government is expecting a no-deal Brexit as the “most likely scenario”, which would result in the immediate imposition of controls on the EU’s borders with Britain.

Sterling was down 0.4% against the dollar at 1.2119 and the euro at 1.0920, while the FTSE 100 was up 1.2% to just over 7,207

Boris Johnson’s Paris visit tomorrow heating up:

Emmanuel Macron aide tells AFP no deal ‘is becoming most likely scenario’

The aide insists that Britain will still have to pay £39bn Brexit divorce bill

‘The idea of saying there’s not a deal so I won’t pay does not work’

— Steven Swinford (@Steven_Swinford) August 21, 2019

2pm: European stocks in the green

There is a focus on Europe today as Boris Johnson heads off to talk Brexit with German premier Angela Merkel, while Germany’s bond sale hits a bum note and Italy reacts to the resignation of prime minister Giuseppe Conte.

After Conte quit and fired off a few epithets at his coalition partners, markets welcomed the populist partnership’s almost-certain end.

Italy’s FTSE MIB is the strongest gainer among the European indices, up 1.9%, while London’s FTSE 100 was up 1.2% at 7,212.

As Germany prepares to welcome the British PM, the country’s central bank created an unwanted record by selling the first ever 30-year government bonds with a zero coupon, which due to the price paid actually will have a negative yield of -0.11%.

READ: Why might investors buy negative yield government bonds?

Merkel meanwhile said in a speech that the talks with Johnson will cover “how we can get the most friction-free British exit from the European Union possible as we must fight for our economic growth”.

Analysts at Monex Europe said: “The chances of a breakthrough seem slim, but given Boris yesterday hinted at Britain being willing to make ‘commitments’, and Merkel said that the Irish backstop could be bypassed by a practical solution, there is at least a glimmer of hope for good news.”

The pound was having none of it, still down 0.3% versus the dollar at 1.2137, with tweeted efforts from the White House not moving the dial either, with the negative German debt further enraging President Trump.

…..We are competing with many countries that have a far lower interest rate, and we should be lower than them. Yesterday, “highest Dollar in U.S.History.” No inflation. Wake up Federal Reserve. Such growth potential, almost like never before!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 21, 2019

1.45pm: Experian gets acquisition boost

Among the top blue chips today are credit checker Experian PLC (LON:EXPN), up 2% as it acquired Look Who’s Charging (LWC), an Australian outfit providing nifty technology to the banking sector.

This technology helps with “transaction enrichment and categorisation”, which the London-listed company says is designed to “make banking smoother and more straightforward for bank customers”.

Simply put, LWC shows small businesses and consumers who’s who on their bank statements, rather than a random list of numbers.

Capita PLC (LON:CPI) is also up 2% after it was upgraded to ‘buy’ from ‘neutral’ at Goldman Sachs.

Other broker action saw Victrex PLC (LON:VCT) upgraded to ‘equalweight’ by Barclays as analysts see 20% upside risk to consensus estimates on earnings per share, while Tullow Oil plc (LON:TLW) was lifted by an upgrade to ‘buy’ at Canaccord Genuity.

12.25pm: Wall Street expected to join market march higher

Wall Street is tipped to join in the market merry-making on Wednesday, while the FTSE 100 continues to inch higher.

On futures markets, the Dow Jones is pencilled in for an 0.6% gain to just over 26,000, with the S&P 500 seen adding 0.7% and the Nasdaq Composite best of all at 0.8%.

Nerves about a US recession look to have settled a little after last week’s panic, says market analyst Craig Erlam at Oanda.

“Now that everyone is an expert in inverted yield curves and the apocalyptic foresight they contain, there seems to be an odd acceptance of where we’re heading (or is it denial?)”

Another day spent waiting for that special yield curve to invert. #drumsfingers

— Chris Beauchamp (@ChrisB_IG) August 21, 2019

“The Fed will be all too aware of the events of the last week, not just because of its historic significance, but because investors are now relying on them even more heavily to save the day,” Erlam said.

“Markets are effectively pricing in a rate cut every remaining meeting this year. Are investors setting themselves up for disappointment or leaving the Fed with little choice but to follow?

“Clearly Powell can’t afford to get it wrong on Friday because any signal that markets are way off the mark will likely cause further mayhem, not to mention a backlash from the White House.”

While minutes of the most recent Fed meeting are due later today, Erlam said recent events might make them rather outdated.

Back in London, the FTSE is up 80 points or 1.1% at 7,205.28, as the pound softens further, down 0.3% against the greenback at $1.2130.

10.30am: Gains extended as TUI leads the way

London stocks have continued to rally on Wednesday morning, with news of a smaller than expected UK budget surplus unlikely to be providing the catalyst.

The Office for National Statistics revealed that July saw a small surplus of £1.32bn compared to £3.56bn a year earlier.

Public sector net borrowing, excluding banks, is up 60% year over year in the first four months of the fiscal year at £16bn.

“The small surplus in July’s public finances wasn’t enough to make up for the jump in borrowing since the start of the financial year and means that government borrowing still looks like it will overshoot the OBRs forecast,” said Capital Economics.

Economist Tom Pugh said it was likely that government borrowing will continue to overshoot the Office for Budget Responsibility’s forecast over the next few months as the government ramps up spending on preparations for a no deal Brexit, while a change in accounting approach will raise the deficit by more than £10bn a year.

Among the biggest share price movers in the upper FTSE echelons, tour operator TUI AG (LON:TUI) was flying highest, up 4% to 791.6p.

Research by UBS showed all the airlines showed more deterioration than expected in their most recent customer review scores, nut with TUI showing the highest score among 20 airlines.

Elsewhere, dollar earners were doing well in general as the pound softened another 0.2% against the dollar to 1.2141, with leaders including Smurfit Kappa Group Plc (LON:SKG), Burberry Group PLC (LON:NRBY) and Rolls-Royce Holdings PLC (LON:RR.).

The FTSE 100 was up 75 points or 1.05% to 7,199.81, with only five stocks in the red, with miners BHP Group PLC (LON:BHP) and Rio Tinto PLC (LON:RIO) down amid falling base metals prices, and two general insurers, Admiral Group PLC (LON:ADM) and Direct Line Insurance (LON:DLG).

8.52am: Stronger start than expected

The FTSE 100 got off to a stronger than expected start, rising 31 points to 7,155.74.

Sentiment for the coming days could be shaped by the US Federal Reserve minutes out after hours London time.

Ahead of their publication trading volumes in the dealing rooms of the Square Mile are likely to remain subdued.

Gold, a haven investment in times of uncertainty, continued to hold firm above US$1,500 an ounce, reflecting the nerves of the market.

The pound was steady at US$1.2153 with forex traders buoyed by comments by German chancellor Angela Merkel stating the EU would look at “sensible” suggestions for solving the UK-Ireland border issue.

Turing to the stock market, construction group Costain (LON:COST) led the All-Share with a 12.6% rise.

This after its profits crumbled. It appears, however, the carnage wasn’t quite as bad as the market had been anticipating.

Nostrum Oil & Gas (LON:NOG) was the day’s big loser as it tanked 20% after Berenberg slashed its target price and downgraded the shares to ‘sell’.

READ: Nostrum gets bloody nose after Berenberg double-downgrade

6.30am: FTSE 100 set to open a “touch higher”

The FTSE 100 is expected to open a touch higher on Wednesday as investors seemed content to stay put while awaiting possible direction from Fed minutes due later.

Spread-betting firm IG expects the FTSE 100 to open about 4 points higher after the index closed 64 points lower at 7,125 on Tuesday.

Fears of a recession have been mixed with hopes of renewed fiscal and economic stimulus by national governments to counter the slowdown, with US President Donald Trump recently floating the idea of tax cuts while the German government is seemingly considering a bond sale.

Traders will also be looking to the minutes from the Federal Reserve’s previous policy meeting in June, when it cut interest rates for the first time since 2008, to gauge the possibility of further cuts this year.

This will also be in focus ahead of the Fed’s annual Jackson Hole seminar later this week, which will provide further clues on how the central bank plans to boost growth.

The gloomy mood around a recession weighed on US markets overnight, with the Dow Jones ending Tuesday 0.66% lower at 25,962 while the S&P 500 fell 0.79% to 2,900 and the Nasdaq dropped 0.68% to 7,948.

The pessimism continued into the Asian markets on Wednesday, with the Japanese Nikkei 225 down 0.3%, although Hong Kong’s Hang Seng bucked the trend slightly and was up 0.11%.

On the currency markets, the pound slipped 0.12% to US$1.2154 against the dollar and was also down 0.05% at €1.0955 against the euro amid ongoing doubts that Boris Johnson will be able to extract any concessions from major EU leaders when he visits Berlin and Paris this week.

Quiet day for company news

Wednesday looks like being another quiet one in the Square Mile, with only a handful of companies known to be releasing news, while there is also some relatively small-time data due.

One of the few set to report is industrial REIT, Hansteen Holdings plc (LON:HSTN), which is due to post its half-year numbers.

Significant events expected on Wednesday August 21:

Interims:Charter Court PLC (LON:CCFS), Costain PLC (LON:COST), Empresaria Group plc (LON:EMR), Hansteen Holdings plc (LON:HSTN)

Economic data: UK public sector net borrowing, US existing home sales, MBA US mortgage applications, US crude oil inventories

Around the market:

Sterling: US$1.2154, down 0.12%

Brent crude: US$60.35 a barrel, up 0.5%

Gold: US$1,502.47 an ounce, down 0.14%

Bitcoin: US$10,230.4, down 5.3%

Proactive news headlines:

ReNeuron Group PLC (LON:RENE) has appointed three people with “world-class breadth of expertise” in the fields of ophthalmology and stem cell research to its scientific advisory board.

Brady PLC (LON:BRY) had reported that recurring revenues for the first half of its financial year have been in line with expectations.

Canadian Overseas Petroleum Limited (LON:COPL) said it will raise £500,000 via a stock placing at 0.1p a share.

Asiamet Resources Ltd (LON:ARS) expects to improve the economics of its Beruang Kanan Main (BKM) copper project Indonesia after signing up a well-connected Chinese engineering, procurement and construction management contractor.

Galantas Gold Corp (LON:GAL) confirmed sales of US$460,000 in its second-quarter following the start of shipments from the Omagh mine in Northern Ireland.

City headlines:

Giuseppe Conte has resigned as Italy’s prime minister, deepening the country’s political crisis – Financial Times

A major newspaper closely connected to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has raised concerns over Oyak’s deal to rescue British Steel from insolvency – Telegraph

British technology start-ups have received a record $6.7 billion in new funding this year, shrugging off concerns over a no-deal Brexit – The Times

Britain will automatically enrol nearly 90,000 companies in a customs system in order to reduce the risk of Brexit disruption, the government said, its latest attempt to show it can leave the European Union without a deal if necessary – Reuters

Mike Ashley has sacked the boss of Jack Wills just weeks after buying the preppy clothing retailer out of administration – Telegraph

The EU turned down Boris Johnson’s latest call to renegotiate the terms for Britain’s withdrawal from the bloc – FT

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Market record: The stocks doing the heavy lifting

Telstra has had a dream recovery over the past 12 months, placing fourth for the most points added to the S&P/ASX 200 Index – just missing out on a …


A surging stock price amid a United States-based clamour for antibodies has helped make the company the biggest contributor to the S&P/ASX 200 Index this year.

CSL is a leading producer of treatments for life threatening immunodeficiency diseases andbleeding diseases like haemophilia, and it is one of the largest producers of influenza vaccines. The company’s network of plasma collection centres is wider and more efficient than those of its peers, giving CSL a commanding competitive advantage over its peers.

One of its biggest weeks on the market came in July when the president of the US Immune Deficiency Foundation, raised the challenges of accessing the critical substance. This reflected a “combination of strong demand and an unfortunate coincidence of supply issues,” JP Morgan analysts said.

The value of CSL’s stock soared in response, rising by 4.5 per cent (or $9.65) that week, and the stock has continued to rise, hitting $231.74 on Friday morning.

Robust half-year results triggered share price gains in February, and analysts have mostly favourable recommendations on the stock after the group increased sales revenue to more than $US4.4 billion and paid a US85¢ interim dividend.

CSL has increased its market value by over 20 per cent since February, and has added a thumping 81.3 points to the S&P/ASX 200 Index this year.

“We see its plasma collection centre network as a competitive

advantage relative to peers.” Macquarie analysts say.


“We expect positive mix shift and moderate price increases in addition to volume growth to support average Ig revenue growth.”

The miners

At face value, 2019 has been a brilliant year for miners. Companies like Rio Tinto, BHP – the second-biggest points contributor to the S&P/ASX 200 Index in the year to date – Fortescue, Newcrest, Northern Star and Evolution Mining have hit eight-year – and in some cases up to 11-year – highs.

Miners benefited from very high iron ore and coking coal prices, and BHP and Rio are in a golden era of shareholder returns, delivering monster dividends and share buybacks based on strong cashflows and asset sales.

The miners have also attracted money from yield-focused baby boomers who dumped stocks like AMP and NAB after the banking royal commission.

But on closer inspection only two commodity sectors, iron ore and gold, have enjoyed strong prices – gold prices hit all time highs on Friday – and the forces driving those prices hardly inspire confidence in the global economy.

Iron ore – a crucial ingredient in the steel that is used to build infrastructure like bridges, railways and apartment building – is a barometer for the Chinese economy. While Chinese demand has been very strong, the main factor behind the strongest iron ore prices in five years has been weak supply.


Brazilian miner Vale was forced to idle 5.6 per cent of global iron ore supply in the wake of deadly dam failures in January. As of this week, just less than half that shuttered supply had returned to the market.

And with weather disrupting Australian iron ore exports, the iron ore market has received lower seaborne supply for the first time this century.

The conditions have ensured Rio’s earnings from iron ore rose 39 per cent over the past six months, despite Rio’s Australian iron ore division delivering its weakest exports since 2015.

Rio, BHP and Fortescue have slashed their debt and are now in a phase of bumper shareholder returns. Many yield-focused investors have been lured to the sector, despite it traditionally being better known for capital growth.

A deteriorating global economy, including in the US, has driven down most other metal prices, including copper, aluminium and zinc, while thermal coal prices have slumped on strong supply and a strong year of hydro power in China.

As always, one metal shines in times of economic distress – gold. Prices for the yellow metal surged 11 per cent during the first half of 2019. The rise was augmented for companies mining gold in Australia, who have also benefited from a sliding Australian dollar.

Gold prices in Australian dollar terms hit a record high of $2100 per ounce on Friday, and that has driven strong margins for companies like Northern Star, Evolution and Saracen, to name just a few.

The biggest gold miner on the ASX, Newcrest Mining, has risen to its highest share price since 2011 while Newcrest shares have now almost quintupled since December 2013.


The banks

Australia’s big four banks have rarely been out of the headlines over the last several years, and for the wrong reasons. But the unexpected events of 2019 have led to a sharp re-rating of their depressed earnings potential.

Maligned and marginalised throughout 2018 during a very public examination of their misdeeds, the banks have rebounded and are among the biggest contributors to the S&P/ASX 200 Index, hitting year-to-date highs.

The first fillip came from the industry’s very own bogyman: Commissioner Kenneth Madison Hayne.

Commissioner Hayne’s doorstop of a final report into misconduct in banking, financial services and superannuation services – released on February 4 – was an excoriation of a sector that pursued profits above people.

It led to the resignations of NAB chief executive Andrew Thorburn and Chairman Ken Henry and is expected to lay the groundwork for criminal investigations into several banks.

Importantly though, it stopped short of ordering a costly and time-consuming dismantling of the vertically integrated banking model.

Banks rallied hard ahead of the announcement and even harder after it. Two days after the announcement Commonwealth Bank chief Matt Comyn unveiled a $4.56 billion net profit. CBA’s result was characterised by a small rise in revenue, tightening margins and higher remuneration.


As the other banks followed CBA with their own results it emerged they would have more trouble negotiating the conditions that were besetting all banks. ANZ was lending too little, Westpac’s compo bill blew out and NAB was forced to slash the dividend.

But the problems were surmountable.

The big turning point that nobody foresaw was yet to come. In the week that followed the federal election, banks would stage a rally the likes of which had not been seen since the heady days of the GFC. Westpac would rally double digits in a single session.

The impact was short-lived but they established an important data point on price charts. ANZ is the only of the big four below its post election peak, while Westpac is about even. Investors however are not fretting, with the shares up 17.5 per cent and 18.6 per cent respectively.

CBA has risen 12.5 per cent since then (taking its six month rise to 16.7 per cent) and NAB is up 19.7 per cent over the two-and-a-half month period, with shareholders still feeling the afterglow of the appointment of veteran banker Ross McEwan as CEO.

And why shouldn’t they, with shares up 22.4 per cent over the year to date?

The ‘bond proxies’


Infrastructure companies like Transurban and Sydney Airport are among the 25 companies that have added the most points to the S&P/200 Index since the start of the year, with Transurban ranking eighth.

Both companies are considered “bond proxies” – companies with steady dividends that are considered alternatives to bonds when interest rates are low because they offer higher dividend yields.

Transurban’s dividend yield is currently running at around 3.8 per cent while Sydney Airport’s is 4.6 per cent at a time when 10-year government bond yields have fallen to record lows of just 1.1 per cent amid expectations there will be further cuts in interest rates.

Low interest rates also benefit Transurban, which has $18 billion in debt and Sydney Airport, which carries debt of $8.4 billion, by reducing the cost of refinancing debt and taking on new debt.

Morgans estimates that around one-third of the toll-road group’s earnings goes toward servicing its debt and one quarter of Sydney Airport’s earnings does the same.

“Falling market interest rates benefit the cost of new debt and unhedged debt,” says Morgans analyst Nathan Lead. Morgans upgraded its target price on Transurban in mid-July to $14.13 from $12.09, and also upgraded Sydney Airport to $8.71 from $7.61.

Transurban, which was trading at $15.76 on Friday morning, has already surged ahead of that target price while Sydney Airport was trading at $8.48.


Analysts also use bond yields to discount future cash flows and calculate the cost of equity when they value infrastructure stocks. UBS has reduced Transurban’s estimated cost of equity to 6.5 per cent from 7.5 percent, lifting its valuation to $15.10 from $13.75 previously; and dropped Sydney Airport’s cost of equity to 7.5 from 8.5 per cent, increasing its valuation to $8.50 from $7 previously.

Transurban’s toll fares rise at the rate of inflation or higher than the rate of inflation, but low inflation can hurt the company because it typically signals a weaker economic environment and potentially fewer cars and trucks using the company’s toll roads.

Trucks are considered more of a risk of reducing toll-road trips because their toll fares are three times higher than cars’ fares.

Sydney Airport’s passenger traffic also weakens as economic growth slows, with the airport reporting a 1.5 per cent drop in domestic travellers in the year to June, and only a 1.9 per cent rise in international travellers, bringing overall traffic down 0.2 per cent.


Telstra has had a dream recovery over the past 12 months, placing fourth for the most points added to the S&P/ASX 200 Index – just missing out on a podium finish.

It’s a remarkable turnaround for a company that was flirting with a record low market value in June last year. Telstra has benefited from rival TPG abandoning its plans to build a 5G network and the competition watchdog quashing TPG’s proposed merger with Vodafone Australia.

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Eqis Capital Management Inc. Has $750000 Stake in BHP Group Ltd (NYSE:BHP)

Millennium Management LLC raised its stake in BHP Group by 405.6% during the fourth quarter. Millennium Management LLC now owns 1,839,804 …

BHP Group logoEqis Capital Management Inc. lowered its stake in shares of BHP Group Ltd (NYSE:BHP) by 13.6% in the second quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the SEC. The fund owned 12,902 shares of the mining company’s stock after selling 2,028 shares during the period. Eqis Capital Management Inc.’s holdings in BHP Group were worth $750,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

Several other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently made changes to their positions in BHP. Lazard Asset Management LLC raised its holdings in shares of BHP Group by 273.7% in the 1st quarter. Lazard Asset Management LLC now owns 2,540,159 shares of the mining company’s stock worth $138,870,000 after buying an additional 1,860,489 shares in the last quarter. Millennium Management LLC raised its stake in BHP Group by 405.6% during the fourth quarter. Millennium Management LLC now owns 1,839,804 shares of the mining company’s stock worth $88,844,000 after acquiring an additional 1,475,921 shares in the last quarter. Neuberger Berman Group LLC acquired a new stake in shares of BHP Group during the 1st quarter worth about $56,537,000. Norges Bank acquired a new stake in shares of BHP Group during the 4th quarter worth about $31,842,000. Finally, Marshall Wace North America L.P. acquired a new stake in shares of BHP Group during the 1st quarter worth about $15,079,000. 3.65% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Shares of NYSE:BHP traded down $0.27 during midday trading on Tuesday, reaching $56.16. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 133,825 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,404,849. The company has a quick ratio of 2.16, a current ratio of 2.55 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.43. The company has a market capitalization of $89.86 billion, a P/E ratio of 16.73, a P/E/G ratio of 2.87 and a beta of 0.81. BHP Group Ltd has a fifty-two week low of $43.19 and a fifty-two week high of $59.02. The stock’s fifty day simple moving average is $56.94.

A number of equities research analysts recently issued reports on BHP shares. UBS Group cut shares of BHP Group from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research report on Monday, April 22nd. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Glu Mobile from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, April 9th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $69.00 price objective on shares of Daimler in a report on Friday, July 12th. Finally, Citigroup raised their price target on Martin Marietta Materials from $239.00 to $255.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, May 1st. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $64.00.

BHP Group Company Profile

BHP Group discovers, acquires, develops, and markets natural resources worldwide. The company engages in the exploration, development, and production of oil and gas properties; and mining of copper, silver, lead, zinc, molybdenum, uranium, gold, and iron ores, as well as metallurgical and energy coal.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for BHP Group (NYSE:BHP)

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