The market is up 39 — that compares to the Futures up 26 this morning on the back of a 12 point rise on Wall St. All about Resources today — up 3%. Financials flat. Property down. Metals rebounded strongly last night lifting nickel (up 8%), Zinc (up 7%), iron ore, copper and gold stocks. Energy stocks up on the back of the higher oil price. Resource majors all up — BHP, RIO, and Oz Minerals up 2.8%, 3.0% and 6.2% as the CRB Commodities Index has its biggest 3-day rise since 2002 — up 8.1%.

A quiet night on Wall Street — the Dow closed up 13. Up 59 at best. Down 101 at worst. Financials down 1.1% – down 2.8% at their worst. Investment banks down 0.6%, Merrills is in talks with a Korean sovereign wealth fund and it largest shareholder, Singapore’s state-owned fund Temasek, about another capital injection. Down 0.29%. Citigroup cut earnings estimates for Lehmans, Goldmans and Morgan Stanley — down 0.07%, 1.16% and 0.91% — saying the trio will write-off a combined $6.4bn in the 3Q. Further concerns that the $623m worth of value left in Fannie and Freddie will be wiped out in a government rescue. Sovereign Bancorp fell 5.81% on the worries surrounding Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. American International Group — world’s largest insurer — lost 4.9%. Goldmans said that the countries accounting for half of the world’s economy face recession. The NASDAQ finished slightly down 0.36%.

  • Both BHP and RIO up in ADR form overnight, 2.04% and 2.64% respectively.
  • Metals had a great night – Nickel up a big 8.05% and Zinc up 7.56%. Copper up 4.55% and Aluminium put on 3.28%.
  • Oil price up 5% or $5.75 to $121.23 — now at its highest level for 2 weeks — after escalating tensions with Russia increased fears of supply disruptions to the West.
  • Gold up $22.60 to $835.00
  • Bonds down with the 10 year yield up to 3.83% from 3.80%.

Busy day to finish off the week, announcing results today:

  • BBG — Billabong International — GOOD — Announce a FY net profit of $176.4m, up 5.5%. Analysts’ expected $174.6m. GSJB Were $174.6m. They also announced another acquisition. Talk of short covering. BBG up 5.2%.
  • GMG — Goodman Group — IN LINE — Posted a net profit of $567.1m, up 11%. Analysts’ expected $565.3m. GMG 3.7%
  • IAG — Insurance Australia Group — Reported a FY net loss of $261m – it was $400m worth of asset impairment and restructuring charges that did the damage. IAG -0.3%
  • KCN — Kingsgate Consolidated — IN LINE — Announce a FY net profit of $36.2m compared to the $12.6m loss last year. GSJB Were expected $40.8m. KCN up 1.8%.
  • CTX — Caltex — Reports a 1H net profit of $196m, down 33% on the back of unplanned maintenance work and lower refining margins. GSJB Were expected $188m. UBS expected $255.5m. CTX up 2.2%.
  • AWE — Australian Worldwide Exploration — Announce a net profit of $264.4, up from $35.4m last year.
  • HDF — Hastings Diversified — Announce their 1H net loss of $6.9m. Pay a distribution of 14c. Says capital structure is robust. HDF down 1.8%.

Other news…

  • Major shareholders in James Packer’s Ellerston Gems Fund (EGF) have called for the fund to be wound up — the share-price is sitting at around $1.78, well below its NAV of 233c in June and far below its float price of $2.50. They are in a trading halt pending an announcement about “the future” of the fund. The stock has traded below its listing price from day one which only goes to prove the maxim…whatever Packer is selling… sell. The initial IPO included a margin lending arrangement in the PDS — top of the market stuff. EGF last traded 178c.
  • ANZ Bank (ANZ) have reported today on a Review of their Securities Lending Business in the wake of the collapse of OPES and other brokers. They admit to management weaknesses, have sacked staff and “punished” others. Board don’t appear to be taking responsibility but are laying it all off on employees. ANZ up 0.8%.
  • ABC Learning in a trading halt — shares fell 12% yesterday — ABC said they need time to “finalise and provide further guidance relating to its full-year results and prior adjustments arising out of a reassessment of accounting treatments.” Last traded 54c.
  • Qantas has provided an outlook for 2009 a day after announcing results. Says its FY09 pretax profit will be in line with consensus (Range $428m to $1.02bn) QAN down 1.15%.
  • Great Southern Group (GTP) in a trading halt pending an announcement about their Strategic Review. GTP last traded 70c.
  • Macquarie Communications Infrastructure Group (MCG) have sold $636m of assets and are addressing concerns about the dilution from the early redemption of Exchangeable Bonds. MCG down 11.5%.
  • Macquarie Infrastructure Group (MIG) down 10% with Goldman Sachs JB Were downgrading to SELL saying “It’s still very leveraged, traffic is disappointing and they’re selling one of their better assets”. MIG down 10.1%.
  • Orica have announced the “Successful completion of the Retail Bookbuild” — over 50% were taken up by eligible shareholders. ORI up 0.6%.
  • Ken Talbot has increased his substantial shareholding in Riversdale Mining (RIV) from 8.11% to 9.81%. RIV up 4.7%.
  • Babcock & Brown keeping Phil Green as a Director hasn’t gone down well with institutions. The suggestion is that he will still be influencing the company and should have gone altogether. This morning Credit Suiise say that “given presently available disclosure, we have lost confidence in our understanding of BNB’s senior debt covenants. As such we can’t adequately assess the risk of covenant breaches and their consequences, and therefore can’t adequately assess a fundamental valuation with sufficient certainty to underpin a 12-month share price target”. BNB down 8.6%.
  • Wesfarmers down another 2.5% after a 4.5% fall yesterday on results. Some downgrades around this morning on the understanding that the Coles turnaround is going to take longer and cost more than expected.

MARCUS PADLEY is the Author of the MARCUS TODAY Daily Stockmarket Newsletter.

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