The market is up 64, the SFE Futures were on the money this morning suggesting a 62 point rise.
WALL ST UP 117.5 – Wall St. moved in a 158 point range and finished nearly 1% higher after a late rally fuelled by energy stocks and bargain hunters. A 2.7% rise in the oil price boosted energy stocks; Exxon Mobil posted its biggest gain since August while Newmont Mining had its best session in over a year. The energy sector is up 29% since last December. The financial sector also put on 1.7%, Goldman Sachs closed up after denying speculation that it was about to announce a large writedown, the stock has lost 12% in the past 3 sessions, and Citigroup fell for a 6th straight day. There is talk that the world’s largest bank may have losses from asset-backed bonds of around $13.7bn. The NASDAQ had a strong session, up 0.9% helped by an impressive debut by Alibaba.com, whose shares tripled on their first day of trading in Hong Kong. But Yahoo Inc, who owns a 39% stake in the company, fell 4.75% on concerns that Alibaba’s first day gains are not sustainable. Google closed up 1.4%. There are a number of press article suggesting the subprime worries are not over.
The RBA have raised rates this morning by 25bp to 6.75% – inflation pressures the quoted reason – inflation expected to be above their target band by Q2 2008 – growth also solid (over 5%) and credit market conditions seem stable – the market was expecting the rise in the end but there was a chance the RBA held off (being two weeks out from a Federal Election on 24 Nov). Seems they might be “independent” after all. Doesn’t help the coalition election chances and will leave the ALP having a good giggle today – today’s rise is the 6th since the last election. 10th rise since May 2002. Brokers are forecasting another RBA rate rise in Feb 2008.
In the news today…
- CSR has had interim results. The share price is down 2.4% first thing this morning to 324c. Headline numbers don’t exactly make for great reading. H1 NPAT down 33.8% to $72.3m which compares to broker forecasts nearer $88m. Very poor performance from Sugar down 69% (although wet weather affected which will be caught up in H2). Building products in line. Aluminium 5% below forecasts. Earnings guidance is unchanged (suggesting some of the first half shortfall will be made up in the 2nd half). Goldman Sachs JB Were has a SELL recommendation.
- The Coles Scheme Meeting to vote on the takeover by Wesfarmers has been overwhelmingly approved with 696m shares voted in favour and 5.4m against. WES will start trading with Coles included on the ASX on Monday (12 November). It moves from 18th to 8th biggest stock in the market behind BHP, CBA, NAB, WBC, ANZ, RIO, WDC and WOW. WES up 45c to 4295c and CGJ up 18c to 1590c. Wesfarmers ex dividend 140c tomorrow.
- Mincor Resources (MCR) up 4.5% to 467c after announcing this morning they will increase production by up to 18% after the approval of the $23m development of their McMahon Nickel Project in Western Australia. MCR has had a great 12 months, share price has more than doubled – up 104%.
- Corporate Express (CXP) failed to impress with its 3Q07 result yesterday. NPAT down 4.7% to $16.6m. The most disappointing part of the result was that operating expense growth (up 6.5%) came in above revenue growth (4.1%).
- AGL Energy (AGK) and Arrow Energy (AOE) have teamed up to buy the Enertrade gas and pipeline business from the QLD state government. The JV will pay $268m, AGL will fork over $108.1m and AOE $140m. AGK down 8c to 1289c and AOE up 13c to 290c.
- ASX Ltd (ASX) up 31c to 5813c – October was a strong month for equity market trades with 7.1m transactions, which is the second highest ever and up 104% from last year.
- Westfield (WDC) down slightly to 2118c after their 3Q trading update yesterday. Good reviews from brokers this morning, management said there is $10b worth of new projects set to start in the next 3 years.
- Westpac Bank down having gone ex dividend 49c fully franked. WBC down 70c to 2976c.
- The Criterion column in The Australian has a SELL on Sundance Resources (SDL) this morning. They recently called off a merger with Gindalbie Metals.
- ANZ goes ex dividend tomorrow.
Ahead – Greenspan Testimony on the economic outlook on Friday morning our time. News Corp results tomorrow morning in the US. David Jones Q1 sales tomorrow. AGMs from Leighton Holdings (UBS Warburg has a SELL recommendation today), Fortescue Metals, Seek.com, AGL Energy. NAB results on Friday.
In the MARCUS TODAY newsletter today is an article about betting – it serves a great purpose, but some people confuse it with making money. Plenty of other stuff as well.
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