Key Points

  • Global sharemarkets ralllied overnight
  • US biotech Moderna releaes positive Phase I trial results
  • Moderna currently has no products on market

NZME says court declines injunction to extend Nine negotiations

Sarah Turner

NZME said that its application for an interim injunction to preserve the exclusive negotiation period previously agreed with Nine has been declined.

“NZME is disappointed but respects the Court’s decision,.” the company said.

Oil, iron ore prices rally

Tom Richardson

Benchmark oil prices lifted overnight on lockdown easings with WTI futures for June 22 settlement at $US32.18 and global benchmark Brent crude futures for June settlement at $US35.44 a barrel.

Overnight iron ore prices climbed 3.4 per cent to $US96.84 a tonne as demand from China picks up at the same time as supply from Brazil is constrained on COVID-19 lockdowns.

Iron ore prices are now up around 15 per cent since April 30 as also benefits from minimal virus transition.

Westpac economists have pointed out that supply from Brazil has dropped to its lowest level since the January 2019 tailings dam collapse as Brazil is hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gold is flat at US$1736 an ounce.

Westpac appoints new

Tom Richardson

Westpac’s chief information officer David Bright is leaving the bank to take a new role overseas. As is its consumer bank boss, David Lindberg, who is also taking up a role abroad.

The bank is navigating an anti-money laundering compliance failure scandal, with the financial crime regulator AUSTRAC alleging it broke the .

Westpac CEO Peter King

New Westpac CEO Peter King has moved to shake up its compliance team. 

In response it has appointed Les Vance as its new group executive of financial crime, compliance, and conduct.

Peter King said: “Westpac has made significant progress in improving its financial crime capability and I am confident Les will continue to build on this platform of work.

“His deep understanding of the bank and risk management will help us further strengthen our management of non-financial risk. Les will bring his considerable experience, knowledge and integrity to his new role.”

profit, sales higher

Tom Richardson

Building materials business James Hardie has posted a net profit up 6 per cent to $US241.5 million on sales up 4 per cent to $US2.6 billion for the financial year ending March 31, 2020.

On an adjusted basis it reported a net operating profit of $US352.8 million, up 17 per cent on the prior year.

Chief executive Jack Truong said: “I am particularly pleased with the outstanding North America performance, as we continued to grow above market while delivering exceptional returns.

“Underpinning our success in North America was 11% volume growth in the exterior business coupled with sustained volume growth of 5% in the interior business. Our Lean manufacturing initiative continued to generate improved performance across our North American manufacturing network, helping to deliver 26% Adjusted EBIT growth at a 25.3% Adjusted EBIT margin in the fourth quarter.”

The company paid a final dividend of US10¢ per share on December 20, 2019.

Its fourth quarter profit result climbed 17 per cent on the prior corresponding quarter thanks to strong North America performance, with full year growth in North America 7 per cent above market.

“We enter fiscal year 2021 with significant momentum in both our commercial and Lean initiatives, albeit in a rapidly evolving and highly volatile market and economy. Our global team remains focused on executing our strategic plan to deliver growth above market with strong returns,” said Dr Truong.

James Hardie shares are up 20 per cent over the past year.

Market highlights

ASX futures up 107 points or 2% to 5591 near 6am AEST

  • AUD +1.7% to 65.21 US cents (year to date -7.5%)
  • On Wall St near 4pm: Dow +3.9% S&P 500 +3.2% Nasdaq +2.4%
  • In New York: BHP +8.3% Rio +8.1% Atlassian -2.3%
  • In Europe: Stoxx 50 +5.1% FTSE +4.3% CAC +5.2% DAX +5.7%
  • Spot gold -0.7% to $US1730.84 an ounce at 1.31pm New York time
  • Brent crude +7.8% to $US35.03 a barrel
  • US oil +7.9% to $US31.74 a barrel
  • Iron ore +3.4% to $US96.84 a tonne
  • Dalian iron ore +1.9% to 699 yuan
  • LME aluminium +2.4% to $US1496.50 a tonne
  • LME copper +2.6% to $US5317.50 a tonne
  • 2-year yield: US 0.18% Australia 0.24%
  • 5-year yield: US 0.35% Australia 0.37%
  • 10-year yield: US 0.71% Australia 0.90% -0.47%
  • Italy’s 10-year yield dropped 19bp to 1.67%
  • US prices as of 1.29pm New York

For Timothy Moore’s Before the Bell column, click here

Moderna vaccine gives market hope

Moderna, the Massachusetts company behind a leading effort to create a coronavirus vaccine, announced promising early results from its first human safety tests on Monday (Tuesday AEST).

The eagerly-awaited data provide a preliminary look at one of the eight vaccines worldwide that have begun human testing. The data have not been published in a scientific journal and are only a first step toward showing the experimental vaccine is safe and effective.


The Moderna vaccine will have to pass through Phase I to Phase III trials in order to be proven safe and effective for the general public.  AP

The vaccine delivers the messenger RNA to cells, which then follows the genetic instructions to create the virus protein – allowing the body to learn to recognise and neutralise the pathogen. AP

The company’s stock soared on the report that eight participants who received low and medium doses of Moderna’s vaccine had blood levels of virus-fighting that were similar or greater than those in patients who recovered. That would suggest, but doesn’t prove, that it triggers some level of immunity.

Read more here. 

Good morning

Good morning and welcome to the markets live blog for Tuesday.

This blog is not intended as investment advice.

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