The market is having a blinder – up a 182 points or 3.6% after the Bank of Canada, the Bank of England, the European Central Bank, the Federal Reserve, and the Swiss National Bank pumped $200bn into the banking system. The SFE Futures suggested a 195 point rise in the market this morning. Financials and Utilities up the most, 5.4% and 6% respectively. ANZ up 6.6%, SGB +7.6%, NAB +5.7%, CBA up 5.4%, BNB up 13.5% and MQG up 7.5%. This follows falls from their year highs of 36.6%, 43.6%, 40.9%, 37.2%, 61.3% and 53.2%. In the MARCUS TODAY Newsletter today we have a table of ASX 200 Pes and Yields listed in order of how far the stocks have fallen from their 52 week highs.

The Dow Jones closed up 416 overnight – closed on its high. Biggest one day rally in 5 years as the Bank of Canada, the Bank of England, the European Central Bank, the Federal Reserve, and the Swiss National Bank pump $200bn into the banking system. European markets missed the party and were up around 1% and metals were mostly down overnight. Resources did not respond as well as financials. Housebuilding sector a big beneficiary – Centex up 11.5%. The Dow Jones home construction sector was up 8.7%. In economic news, US Trade deficit was up to $58.2bn in January from $57.9bn in Feb. Better than the $59bn expected. Imports at a record high of $206.4bn. Imported crude oil a big item at a record $27.1bn. trade deficit with China up from $18.8bn to a record $20.3bn.

Both BHP and RIO up in ADR form overnight, 3.4% and 2.4% respectively. BHP up 4.6% today and RIO up 5.9%.

Metals mostly down overnight – Nickel down 2.9%, Aluminium down 2.5% and both Copper and Zinc fell 0.4%.

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Oil price up another 83c to $108.73 closing in record territory. The Energy Department and International Energy Agency cut crude consumption forecasts for this year.

Gold up $4.20. Newcrest up just 0.6% today.

Bonds down with the 10 year yield up to 3.60% from 3.46%.

News today…

  • BlueScope Steel’s (BSL) CEO said the company has had a reasonable start for the year and expects underlying 1H earnings to be in line with market expectations. BSL up 26c to 971c.
  • Rio Tinto (RIO) said it has given the green light to a $475m project that will increase iron ore concentrate production at its Iron Ore Company of Canada unit. RIO up 6% to 12640c.
  • BHP’s South African aluminium smelters will not be shut down to cut the country’s power demand. BHP up 5.2% to 3743c.
  • Harvey Norman has had a tough time of late – down 37% in the past 6 weeks and is 50% off its high of 725c. According to Were’s, HVN was trading on a 2009 PER of 23x, now at a more modest 12x. HVN up 12c to 390c.
  • Fosters (FGL) has announced the appointment of Paul Clinton as Independent Director effective 25 March 2008. FGL up 5c to 523c.
  • UXL Ltd (UXC) announced this morning that its wholly owned subsidiary Fieldforce Services has successfully negotiated the sale of more than 1m tonnes of carbon credits in the past 4 weeks on forward contracts. UXC up 13c to 136c.
  • Credit Suisse upped their recommendation on Newcrest (NCM) to OUTPERFORM from NEUTRAL due to recent share price falls. They have a 4500c target price. NCM up 13c to 3658c.
  • Perpetual (PPT) announced its Exacts Market Cash Fund continued to register a loss in January and February. Loss after tax was $14.9m at Jan 31 and $19.4m at Feb 29. PPT up 3.7% to 5160c.
  • Oxiana goes ex-dividend today (4c).
  • City Pacific (CIY) is up 43% or 43c to 140c on the end of its trading halt and the news that it has sold its interest in the Townsville Ocean terminal to CEC group for $30m and has put out an explanation of its financing arrangements which basically says that the market has widely “misreported and misinterpreted”. No Director margin loan issues of note. They also note that they have the capacity to repay the $240m loan facility by 31 May as required.

In the MARCUS TODAY newsletter today we have updated PEs and YIELDS on the ASX 200 and an article about how simple financial planning is and how to do it on the back of an envelope.


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Peter Fray
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