The market is up 49. The SFE Futures suggested a 40-point rise in the market this morning.

The Dow Jones closed up 85.7 and moved in a 132-point range closing the week higher on the back of declining bond yields and better-than-expected inflation figures which eased interest rate concerns. The Dow Jones index has risen 344 points in the past three sessions and is now only 40 points below its record close reached on June 4 this year. The Labour Department announced the core CPI (excluding food and energy prices) increased by 0.1%, half what economists had predicted, and in takeover activity Penn National Gaming agreed to be taken private by Fortress Investment Group and Centerbridge for $6.1bn. Yahoo Inc. had their AGM; disgruntled shareholders wanted to know why Yahoo’s share price is down 9% in the past year, yet Google’s is up 32%. (Google has a market capitalisation of $US157bn, Yahoo $US36bn) It was a big week for all three major indexes, the S&P 500 put on 1.7%, the Dow Jones increased 1.6% and the NASDAQ finished 2.1% higher.

Resources all up today…BHP up 33c to 3433c, they announced a revised climate-change policy this morning saying they will commit US$300m over the next five years to support the development of low-emissions technology and encourage emissions abatement. RIO up 148c to 9888c. Metals all up on Friday. Aluminium up 0.7%, Copper up 0.6% and Zinc 0.7%. Zinifex up 26c to 1885c. They announced Greig Gailey will step down as CEO on the 29th June this year. Nickel up 1%. Oil price up 42c to $68.04 on the back of unrest in the Middle East and expectations that refinery efficiency will decline. Woodside up 39c to 4539c. Gold up $2.80. Newcrest up 31c to 2370c.

If you’d walked into our broking office on the Friday before last week when the market was down 100 and there was “blood on the streets” (must find a better phrase) and told us we were going to be up last week you would have been laughed off the desk, but we were. ASX 200 up 1%. It has been a good start to week so far with our market following Wall Street’s lead on Friday. Resources and health-care stocks all up today.

  • Macquarie Airports (MAP) up 11c to 431c this morning after announcing the sale of their 44.7% stake in Rome Airport for €1.24bn, a tidy profit on their €480m investment. They have sold to the majority shareholder Gemina. There are suggestions they will join the bidding for Auckland Airport (which is up 16% in NZ).
  • Fortescue Metals (FMG) up 3.4% or 120c to 3615c after coming out of a trading halt and announcing that they have appointed advisers to look at raising $1bn to expand production to 200m tpa on demand from customers. So rather than being a “cost over-run” story it is a “massive demand needs accelerated development” story. All good for the price which is down from its highs of 4175c this month.
  • Publishing & Broadcasting’s (PBL) joint venture Melco PBL Entertainment (MPEL) which is listed on the NASDAQ announced costs associated with their City of Dreams casino in Macau have blown out to US$1.85bn, up from the previously estimated US$1.5bn. Despite MPEL closing 4.47% higher on Friday, the stock is down 37% since listing late last year. PBL down 7c to 1913c.
  • Oxiana (OXR) up 3c to 353c after Credit Suisse upped their target price by 16% this morning despite maintaining their “Underperform” recommendation. The stock is was up 8% last month and 20% higher so far this year.
  • Ten Network (TEN) down 10c to 300c after the AFR reported that 56% shareholder CanWest is likely to hold onto their stake after failing to secure a buyer. Price seems to be the issue … talk is that private equity groups would be willing to pay up to 280c a share, CanWest is thinking more along the lines of 310c.
  • Futuris (FCL) up 8c to 260c on the back of the announcement that they and Optus have won the Government funding to roll out broadband in the bush. Telstra missed out with a last-minute bid and Telstra’s competition in the FTTN network space also missed out – a consortium including unwired, Soul and Austar. TLS down 2c to 480c.
  • Timbercorp (TIM) announced estimated new sales from its horticulture projects to be around $105m, up from the $77m raised in 2005. TIM down 1c to 212c. The TIM story is all about who’s bidding for them, not so much the earnings.
  • Westfield Group (WDC) is out of a trading halt. 83% of institutions took up their rights issue entitlement and the other 17% was placed at 1960c in strong demand. Retail offer closes on 6 July. WDC down 62c to 2020c.

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