The market is down 40. The SFE Futures suggested an unchanged market this morning. All sectors bar the discretionary sector are down. Resources and energy down 1.3% and 1.7% following the US’s downward lead overnight. Property down 1.3%. Financials down 0.5% despite the rise in financials on Wall Street.

Dow up 16. Up 37 at best. Down 100 at worst. Despite positive July factory and unfilled orders data, the market is nervously anticipating the August jobs numbers due Friday. Fed’s Beige Book suggested weak economic activity across all districts. Resources and energy stocks down on lower oil and commodity prices and a rising US dollar. Those who bought oil as a hedge against inflation are continuing to unwind positions. Financials outperformed on good news about the recovery of insurance activity in the municipal bonds market. Utilities down 1.5%. Tech stocks down 1.7% on concerns about an industry inventory glut.

  • Both BHP and RIO down in ADR form overnight, 3.24% and 2.96% respectively. BHP down 29c to 3767c. RIO down 81c to 11171c.
  • Metals mostly up — Copper up 1.44%, Nickel up 0.74% and Zinc up 0.34%. Aluminium down 0.72%. Oz minerals down 5c to 166c.
  • Oil price down 25c to $109.38 on the back lower demand. The oil price is now down 26% since hitting its peak on July 11 of $147.27 a barrel but Goldman Sachs are predicting another spike in the oil, expecting the price to hit $150 once again. Woodside up 4c to 5654c.
  • Gold down $2.30 to $804.30. Newcrest down 90c to 2170c.
  • US Bonds up with the 10 year yield down to 3.70% from 3.74%.

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank (BEN) announced a solid profit yesterday — cash profit came in at $202.1m. The main message was that integration benefits will continue to underpin future growth and that no nasty surprises emerged. BEN down 11c to 1171c.

July merchandise trade figures made a surprise move into a deficit of $717m on the back of a fall in coking coal prices and increased fuel and lubricants imports. The market had expected a trade surplus of $150m. July exports down 1% verses a 4% gain in imports. Raises doubts about the expected massive boost in the terms of trade this FY buffeting the Australian economy.

The SEEK Employment Index — is showing signs of stabilizing in August after several months of declines — index up 0.1% on month and up 2.2% annualized. Numbers suggest a soft landing for the economy.

A few announcements:

  • ANZ has increased the amount it plans to raise via its convertible preference share offer to $1 billion following strong investor demand. “Both retail and institutional investors have responded positively to the offer and we are pleased with the outcome of the bookbuild,” said ANZ Group Treasurer Rick Moscati. ANZ up 21c to 1701c.
  • Ausdrill (ASL) has posted a second supplementary target’s statement regarding the takeover bid from Macmahon Holdings (MAH). ASL down 7c to 258c. MAH down 4.5c to 185c.
  • NAB appoints new Chief Risk Officer. NAB down 17c to 2508c.
  • Envestra (ENV) says Westpac have agreed to a $100m 3-year bank facility to refinance bonds maturing in 2009. ENZ up 0.5c to 70c.
  • Boart Longyear (BLY) names Joseph Ragan as new CFO. Its President has also sold 5m of his 10.2m shareholding in the company. The reason for the selling is that he needs to diversify his personal investments. BLY down 8.5c to 181.5c.
  • PanAust (PNA) has extended its Copper-Gold mineralization at Phu Kham Laos. Further drilling is planned and will be completed during the upcoming dry season. PNA down 3.5c to 73c. GSJB Were maintain their 140c target price and Buy recommendation.
  • Apex Minerals (AXM) has announced the discovery of significant extensions to the Baldric and Crispin zones at Wiluna. Hasn’t done much for the share price, the stock is down 2.5%.
  • NAB appoints new Chief Risk Officer. NAB down 17c to 2508c.
  • Fortescue (FMG) has signed a notice of intent for further work at its Port Headland port in the Pilbara. FMG down 3c to 711c.
  • Credit Suisse, in making comment about ASX Limited’s SFE volumes being sharply down 40% on year, also said, “We continue to see a prolonged bear market…” ASX up 31c to 3573c.

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