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April, 2019

Egyptian bus driver gets shock after using wife’s urine for drugs test

“Congratulations, you’re pregnant”: A male Egyptian bus driver was left flabbergasted. (File picture.) Photo: Wikimedia CommonsAn Egyptian bus driver was left flaggergasted after using his wife’s urine in a bid to avoid a mandatory drugs test, only to be told by officials: “Congratulations. You’re pregnant.”
Nanjing Night Net

Employees from the General Transport Authority were asked to submit a urine sample for the drugs test.

The driver possibly knew he was going to return a positive reading, so he asked his wife to provide some of her urine.

On hearing the results of the test, he was shocked to find out his wife was pregnant,  the BBC reported, citing Egyptian news website Al-Yawm al-Sabi.

Tamer Amin, a presenter on Egyptian politics show Bottom Line, said officials asked the man to confirm the sample was his.

Amin said this made the whole encounter even more hilarious.

“This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Goldman calls the return of the ‘defensive bull market’

The broker expects the market to cement gains, helped by defensive, dividend-yielding stocks. The broker expects the market to cement gains, helped by defensive, dividend-yielding stocks.
Nanjing Night Net

The broker expects the market to cement gains, helped by defensive, dividend-yielding stocks.

The broker expects the market to cement gains, helped by defensive, dividend-yielding stocks.

The rebound in the local sharemarket since mid-October has been driven once again by higher dividend-yielding stocks, largely the banks, while other sectors have failed to step up. It is what Goldman Sachs has labelled the return of the ‘defensive bull market’.

The financials sector surged 6.9 per cent in October as investors began to feel banks were looking a little less expensive after stocks – and the general market – flirted with a technical correction, which is defined as a drop of 10 per cent or more.

“Market concerns about a sooner-than-expected rise in US rates, the potential introduction of macro-prudential controls, and the risk of capital raisings have dissipated,” said Goldman Sachs head of portfolio strategy Matthew Ross.

“The sector is now only 1 per cent off recent highs, up 16.5 per cent for the year and back [to] trading at elevated multiples – 13.5 times [expected earnings], 9 per cent above the past 10-year average.”

He said underperformance in small caps, resources and energy further highlights the return of the “defensive bull market” – share gains driven by dividend-yielding companies with recurrent earnings rather than growth stocks.

Some defensive stocks Goldman Sachs remains positive about are Spark Infrastructure, Goodman Group, ANZ and Sydney Airport.

The broker also likes stocks with a high price-to-earnings ratio such as Seek, CSL, Aristocrat Leisure and ResMed.

Stocks with a neutral rating from Goldman with potential for declines include TPG Telecom, Ausnet Services, Ardent Leisure, M2, Amcor, Ramsay Health Care, Telstra, iiNet, Commonwealth Bank and APA Group.

As the Australian economy transitions away from the resources sector as its growth engine, the hope that another sector will be able to fill the gap is fading.

Analysts were not convinced companies will deliver a lot more earnings growth, judging by consensus forecasts, said Morgan Stanley analyst Chris Nicol.

“The reality is that the current single-digit growth profile [in earnings estimates for financial years 2015 to 2017] seems to fit the current trading and macro backdrop. A deterioration in conditions would only pressure earnings-per-share growth forecasts further,” Mr Nicol said.

But Mr Nicol said the appeal of Australia’s high dividend-yielding stocks would continue to provide a floor for the local sharemarket.

“While we see challenges to earnings growth, our base case does not forecast a decline in earnings. As such there will be some perceived stability in the quantum of dividends and cash yield,” Mr Nicol said.

“Yes, the prospect of rates rising, eventually, will pressure the yield trade within equities, but we continue to highlight that any shift will be a gradual unwind rather than a bubble-like unravel.”

Despite the recent jump in financial stocks, Morgan Stanley has retained its underweight recommendation on banks.

“Calling the ‘big switch’ out of banks has been a financial version of the boy who cried wolf for the last three to four years,” Mr Nicol said.

The Financial Services Inquiry and its impact, the end of access to cheap capital and challenges to dividend growth highlight there are some headwinds ahead for banks. Mr Nicol is forecasting return on equity in the big four will trend down after the Financial Services Inquiry reveals its findings.

Australia has an inflated cost base which companies can address slashing expenses to keep earnings growth ahead of sales growth, according to Deutsche Bank strategist Tim Baker.

“Australia likely has a more inflated cost base to address, compared to the US. Inefficiencies tend to creep in during the good times, as firms focus on meeting demand and defending market share, rather than internal efficiencies, And Australia’s expansion during 2003 to 2007 was a lot stronger than in the US,” Mr Baker said.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Iron ore hits new five-year low

Large steel mills in China produced, on average, 1.631 million tonnes of crude steel a day between October 21 and 31, according to the China Iron and Steel Association, down 7.5 per cent from the previous 10 days. Photo: Quentin Jones Large steel mills in China produced, on average, 1.631 million tonnes of crude steel a day between October 21 and 31, according to the China Iron and Steel Association, down 7.5 per cent from the previous 10 days. Photo: Quentin Jones
Nanjing Night Net

Large steel mills in China produced, on average, 1.631 million tonnes of crude steel a day between October 21 and 31, according to the China Iron and Steel Association, down 7.5 per cent from the previous 10 days. Photo: Quentin Jones

Large steel mills in China produced, on average, 1.631 million tonnes of crude steel a day between October 21 and 31, according to the China Iron and Steel Association, down 7.5 per cent from the previous 10 days. Photo: Quentin Jones

Iron ore has slumped to a fresh five-year low, despite steel mills in China reportedly cutting output in October as the supply glut continues to weigh on prices.

Overnight the price of iron ore, measured for immediate delivery to the Qingdao port in China, fell 1.4 per cent to $US75.38 per tonne. On Thursday, Dallian iron ore futures, fell 1.9 per cent.

Iron ore has now lost ground for five straight sessions and has slipped 5.3 per cent this week. The steel-making ingredient has fallen close to 45 per cent this year.

With demand remaining weak and Beijing attempting to reduce pollution ahead of this week, steel producers in China reportedly cut production.

Large steel mills in China produced, on average, 1.631 million tonnes of crude steel a day between October 21 and 31, according to the China Iron and Steel Association, down 7.5 per cent from the previous 10 days.

“We expect Chinese steel production to reach 800 million tonnes in 2014 and 740 million tonnes in 2020 – a 7 per cent decline,” said Matthew Hodge, Morningstar’s head of basic materials and energy.

Inventories remain low on the consumer side, ANZ senior commodity strategist Daniel Hynes said, which begs the question whether or not orders are coming through on the books.

“The lack of activity is particularly low even for an event like this where you do get traders sitting on the sidelines, it seems excessively quiet which is a little bit worrying,” Mr Hynes said.

“It tends to suggest that demand is not there now, but certainly there is nothing coming through on forward order books as well, which would point to further weakness after the APEC meeting.”

The outlook from steel mills and property developers in China is still weak so any rebound is going to be very mild, Mr Hynes said.

“They [haven’t] suggested they are keen to re-stock or build any inventory into that normal high season period of demand that you get in November-December.”

Earlier in the week, The FT reported that a 170,000 tonne cargo of 62 per cent fines from Pilbara was offered at $US76.80 in China but received no bids.

The supply glut is not expected to subside, with the world’s three biggest miners, BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Brazil’s Vale all expected to continue to flood the market with higher quality iron ore than their smaller rivals.

In the year-to-date, share prices in miners have suffered, but the larger firms, with lower costs of production have fared better.

BHP has slumped 11.1 per cent, Rio has fallen 12 per cent and Vale is down 37.9 per cent for the year.

Iron ore miner Fortescue has dropped 47.9 per cent, Mount Gibson is down 57.6 per cent, Arrium has lost 79.6 per cent and Atlas Iron has shed 80.4 per cent.

Morgan Stanley said this week that private iron ore traders in China expect oversupply will drive spot iron ore down further, to $US70 a tonne by the end of the year, and there is little upside to demand out of China. Iron ore financing in China also poses a big price risk.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Mason ‘dumbfounded’ by Knights axing

Freed Willie: Mason, right, promises to bring toughness to Manly’s pack.Willie Mason cannot understand why he was tapped on the shoulder by incoming Newcastle coach Rick Stone, believing he was one of the best forwards at the club.
Nanjing Night Net

The former Test prop was told he was not wanted by Stone for the next season after three years with the Knights. Despite turning 35 in April, Mason had no plans to call time on his NRL career.

“I was dumbfounded,” he said. “I started laughing to myself, going ‘how can that happen when you’re one of the best forwards in the team?’. I just got picked in the Australian train-on squad but someone doesn’t want you? I would’ve been fine with it if someone said ‘we’re buying Sam Burgess and you have to move on’.

“I loved Newcastle and wanted to retire there. When you get told [you’re not wanted] you take a backward step and it makes you want to train and play harder.

“It was a bit disheartening because I’m a Newcastle boy and had such a good rapport with the fans. They loved me up there and they were shattered to see me go.

“That’s what happens in rugby league. I didn’t second guess myself. As soon as that door closed, about 10 other doors opened.”

One of those was Manly, where Mason has signed a one-year deal that will give the club some much-needed experience up front. The departure of veterans Glenn Stewart, Anthony Watmough and Jason King left Manly with an inexperienced pack.

The Sea Eagles will be Mason’s fifth NRL club since he made his debut for the Bulldogs in 2000. He will return to a Sydney club for the first time since leaving the Roosters at the end of 2009.

“I couldn’t have chosen a better club if I wanted to,” Mason said. “I wanted to stay in Sydney and go to a good club.”

Mason joins Feleti Mateo, Siosaia Vave and Zane Tetevano as additions to the Sea Eagles forward pack.

Hooker Matt Ballin said Mason would help fill the void left by the departure of some of the club’s longest serving players.

“He has great leadership skills,” Ballin said. “He has been around for 15 years and brings knowledge about football. His enthusiasm on and off the field will be great around the club.

“The major thing [he’ll add] is the experience which we need. We’ve lost some really key players in the last two or three years, especially in the front-row. There are some great qualities he’ll bring to the club.”

Mason has not ruled out playing beyond next year, but first he will need to get through pre-season training, which begins on Monday.

“You play these young bulls trying to kill the old bloke,” Mason said. “With no shoulder charges or fights, you’re not worried about the physicality of the game. Personally if you go one on one with a prop it’s fair and tough. There’s no cheap shots.

“They see a target on my head and I enjoy it. You wouldn’t have any for training [if you didn’t enjoy it] because you cruise through.

“With Wayne [Bennett] his training sessions were so intense. He put so much onus on me as a leader to pretty much be that guy to maintain the energy. If the boys were feeling down he would try and get me to get going and help the other guys.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.