WA Index

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WA Index

Issue 190 | December 2019

Welcome to the 190th edition of the Deloitte WA Index, a monthly review of Western Australian stocks and indices.

The market capitalisation of Western Australian listed companies finished on a high in the month of November, moving up 3.9 per cent to close at $195.3 billion. The WA Index outperformed the major indices this month, with the top performers rewarded for positive transaction news flow and growth stories.

Download the list of WA’s top 100 listed companies, as of 30 November 2019, explore the sections below and if you do not currently receive our WA Index, please register to be added to our distribution list.

Highlights:

As of 30 November 2019

Commodity review

Commodity and Precious Metal Price
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  • Uranium closed 8.3% higher this month, finishing at a price of US $26 per pound. Sanction waivers on companies assisting Iran in their nuclear aspirations have been revoked, leading to a contraction in uranium supply. There has also been a rise in demand for uranium in France and the US for nuclear power, as well as plans for nuclear power expansion in China and India.
  • Coking Coal prices have dropped by 5.6% over the month of November to a price of US$134 per tonne. The price decrease is credited to imported coking coal at China’s five major ports reaching a nearly four-month low of 6.6 million tonnes as of November 2019, which began to show sign of slowing down in Mid-November on the back of heightened surveillance and lengthened customs clearance.
  • LNG saw a significant drop in its price in November, falling 11.1% to close at $5.60 per mmbtu. Demand for the commodity from both Asia and Europe was limited, however there is currently an abundance of supply. Projects were greenlit in the US, Australia and Russia during the month, further contributing to the decrease in price.
  • Zinc prices fell 11% in November, also due to concerns of weak Chinese demand from the stainless-steel industry. This stems from China’s stainless steel production falling by 2 percent in November. Moreover, the trade wars between the US and China have created uncertainty in the market. This price decrease has been partially offset by an increasing supply deficit, primarily from 6.4% and 7.8% supply declines in Peru and the US respectively.
  • Lead prices decreased 16% from last month, on the back of rising Chinese supply and weakening demand arising from the US-China trade war. Looking forward, demand is expected to increase in the future as car manufacturers attempt to phase out internal combustion engines with lead-acid batteries.
  • Nickel continued to drop from the commodity’s September high, falling 19% in November to close at $13,618 per tonne. The nickel price suffered its biggest monthly decline since September 2011 following the Indonesian Government’s announcement of a ban on nickel exports. Although initially causing upward pressure on prices upon announcement at the end of October, these worries have somewhat calmed through November.

Performance of WA Index and global indices

Performance of WA Index and global indices
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Global indices in November showed positive trend, with the largest mover being the US S&P 500 which rose by 3.1% during the month. A greater than predicted GDP and a decline in unemployment claims were largely responsible for this growth. The US is also benefiting from low interest rates and positivity towards an agreed trade deal with China.

The All Ordinaries performed well in November, up 2.6%, however, this was not without a blow to the financial sector towards the end of the month. Actions against Westpac for alleged money laundering, shocked the market with company’s share price falling 12.8% during the month.

The Nikkei saw an increase of 2.0% in the month of November. A weaker Yen has boosted the price of export focused stocks, with demand for their products and services increasing due to it being cheaper for foreign companies. The positive trade talks between the US and China also boosted export focused stocks.

The FTSE 100 remained relatively steady for the November period with only a slight improvement. A 1.4% rise in the FTSE 100 stock IAG helped after a conflict between British Airways and its pilots was resolved.

WA Index movement

Performance of Global Financial Markets over the past 12 months

WA Index movement
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Top performers of the month

Western Australian top performers over the past month by growth in market capitalisation

  • NRW Holdings Limited announced its acquisition of BCG Contracting Pty Ltd late in the month for an equity value of $116.4 million and an implied enterprise value of $310 million. The strategic acquisition aims to add to NRW’s scale and broaden the business service offerings. The mining services company also announced a capital raising of $120 million for the purposes of funding the acquisition, with commitments received. The market responded positively with the market capitalisation of the company up 34% to $1.136 billion.
  • Fortescue Metals Group boosted its market capitalisation by 9.2% on the back of a positive response in iron ore prices this month. The company has also increased investment in its Eliwana and Iron Bridge projects, with a focus on low impurity iron ore and lowering operating costs through autonomous machinery.
  • Mineral Resources Ltd enjoyed an 8.6% growth in market capitalisation thanks to positive news in its iron ore business which included a maiden statement of resources for Koolyaknobbing and Mt Dimer assets and an updated combined ore reserve for the Yilgarn operations of 40.8mt at 58.2% Fe.

Major index players in november 2019
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The top Deloitte WA Index Movers and Shakers in November were:

  • 88 Energy Limited’s market capitalisation surged 46% to $130.56 million on the back of the completion of its farm-out with Premier Oil Plc at its acreage in Alaska. The completion of the farm-out agreement was a continuation of a run of good news for the oil and gas explorer in November, which also saw the receipt of approval from the Alaskan Department of Natural Resources for its plan of operations required for drilling at its Charlie-1 project.
  • Catalyst Metals Ltd’s market capitalisation rose by 32% to end the month at $250.47 million. The mineral explorer entered into an earn-in and joint venture agreement with ASX-listed gold producer St Barbara Ltd, under which St Barbara may acquire a 50% interest in Catalyst’s Drummartin project by spending $3.5 million. Catalyst’s rise throughout the month was also bolstered by the announcement of a $7.9 million placement with Gold Exploration Victoria, which will enable the company to progress its advanced projects and pursue exploration programs in the Whitelaw Gold Belt.
  • MACA Limited’s market capitalisation increased 21% to close November at $308.21 million having secured the open pit mining contract at First Quantum’s Ravensthorpe nickel project. The contract is expected to generate approximately $480 million in revenue for MACA over the initial 5-year term and sees the integrated services contractor well placed with a total work in hand of $2.5 billion.

Top performers of the month
Select above image to enhance the Top performers of the month

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