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Australia 200 - local factors front of mind for traders today

Given a steady lead from those international markets not closed for May Day holidays, local considerations are likely to be key for the ASX 200 today.

ANZ’s result has failed to justify the 5.7% rally in the share price since 19 April. Pressure on interest margins saw net interest income decline 2%.  While this was offset by good cost control and a strong performance by ANZ’s institutional division, the net result was marginally below consensus expectations.

Given the outlook for low lending growth and a possible peak in the housing market,  the recent rally in bank stocks appears to have been too much too soon given ANZ’s result this morning. .

ANZ’s management restructure is an interesting move. If successful it will prove a bold move that puts the bank in a better position to meet the challenges created by technological disruption. However, it is a radical departure from traditional banking structures that is likely to carry implementation risk

Shareholders will be happy with the 4.5% growth in Woolworth’s comparable food sales. This represents a much faster turnaround in Woolworth’s competitive position than many had expected.

While, supermarkets face significant medium term challenges, Woolworths’s will be in a better position to face these now that it has stemmed the tide of its decline against competitors. Big W is now a relatively minor part of Woolworths’ business but managements’ success in turning food sales around gives confidence that its Big W strategy may also succeed

Sydney Airport has declined to take on the major development risks involved in the Badgerys Creek Airport. It’s likely that this would have seen the government shifting as much cost and risk as possible to shareholders.  While this may in future erode, Sydney Airport’s competitive position, shareholders may be relieved to be rid of the development risk in the second airport. 

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