We have started off the week OK — up 36 — the SFE Futures suggested an 8 point fall in the market this morning. Resources up 1.4%, Financials up 0.4% after another 6% fall from Babcock & Brown this morning with Babcock & Brown Power down 30.6% on news of a big provision. MQG also down 2.6%. Market is waiting for BHP Billiton’s result — Last year they came out at 3:55pm. Expecting record $15.7bn profit. Commentary on China all important and will set tone for the resources sector which has fallen over 25% since May 19th.

Wall Street finished higher on Friday — up 44 — The main point was oil and commodities down again on a rising US dollar. Goldman Sachs says the US dollar has bottomed. Continuing credit-related concerns amidst multi-billion-dollar buybacks of Auction Rate Securities plus some weak economic numbers. Wachovia announced it will buyback $8.5bn worth of auction-rate-securities and pay $50m in fines, retailers close up 1.8% on better-than-expected 2Q results and the University of Michigan’s July consumer sentiment figures were up less-than-expected — suggest an economy still under pressure.

  • Both BHP and RIO down 1.77% in ADR form on Friday.
  • Metals mixed — Zinc up 1.33%, Aluminium up 0.22% and Nickel down 2.2%. Copper down 0.04%.
  • Oil price down $1.59 to $113.46 on growing concerns about demand in industrial nations and the stronger dollar. Woodside up 122c to 5542c.
  • Gold down $22.30 to $788.40. Newcrest up 40c to 2483c.
  • US Bonds up with the 10 year yield down to 3.84% from 3.90%.

We have a busy week ahead with a host of results as we get into the guts of the reporting season. Most notable companies reporting include: Tuesday: CSL, Boral, Newcrest Mining, Wednesday: Coca-Cola Amatil, Perpetual, AGL Energy, Thursday: Amcor, Tabcorp Holdings, QBE Insurance and on Friday we have Wesfarmers, Caltex and Boral.

Results Today…

  • Ansell’s (ANN) — GOOD — Final result has come in better-than-expected. FY net profit up 2.6% to $102.6m, better than $97.2m analysts’ had expected. Declared a final dividend of 15.5c. ANN up 5c to 1129c.
  • Seek (SEK) — BELOW EXPECTATIONS – Has announced a 37.4% increase in FY net profit to $76.3m, stronger than UBS Warburg’s forecasts of $75m but below Credit Suisse’s bullish prediction of $80.7m. GSJB Were expected $78.1m. SEK up 5c to 514c.
  • BlueScope Steel (BSL) — GOOD — Announces an underlying profit of $816m, up 27%. UBS Warburg expected $728m. After significant items, FY profit came in at $596m, down 13%. Declared a 27c final dividend, up from 26c last year. BSL unchanged at 1329c.
  • Sino Gold (SGX) has posted a net loss of $2.6m compared to the $3.12m loss announced last year. Revenue of $100.2m. No dividend. SGX down 13c to 421c.

Other Announcements

  • Babcock & Brown Power (BBP) announced it will take a total impairment charge of $452m relating to the takeover of Alinta. Reaffirmed EBITDA and has realized $40m from its decision to sell its Tamar power stations project. BBP down 30.6% to 30c.
  • Babcock & Brown (BNB) has also confirmed its interim result guidance saying the guidance (profit warning) last week included the impact of the impairment charge. BNB down 19c to 426c.
  • Talk of Commonwealth Bank of Australia making a $6bn plus takeover offer for BankWest having pulled out of the race to buy ABN AMRO’s Australian investment banking operations. CBA down 104c to 4265c.
  • Straits Resources (SRL) announced they will sell their coal assets – Madagascar and Brunei – to its subsidiary Straits Asia for US$100.3m. SRL down 12c to 488c.
  • Emeco Holdings (EHL) has successfully executed a 3 year $630m senior debt package. Cost of debt up 130bps after the refinancing. EHL up 0.5c to 109.5c.
  • Perpetual (PPT) says funds under management fell slightly in July to $30.2bn from $30.3bn in June. PPT up 205c or 4.6% to 4705c.
  • Allco Finance Group (AFG) announces Credit Suisse Group has agreed to waive Rubicon America Trust’s (RAT) financial covenants and obligation to make a debt repayment until August 22. AFG unchanged at 48c.
  • GSJB Were maintain their OUTPERFORM recommendation on Crown (CWN) and 1060c target price ahead of its result tomorrow. CWN down 1c to 825c.
  • Fairfax Media (FXJ) only down 2c to 273c despite Citi cutting its target price on the stock by 22% to 291c from 371c. They say advertising outlook in New Zealand and regional Australia looks soft. FXJ down 2c to 273c.
  • No indication from Treasurer Wayne Swan as to whether the government will approve Westpac’s (WBC) bid for St. George (SGB). He has also told the banks to follow the RBA’s lead and cut rates if the RBA does reduce interest rates at their next meeting.

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