The market is up 49 outperforming the 8 point rise predicted by the SFE Futures this morning. All sectors up bar telecoms. Industrials and resources outperforming. Property stocks continue to recover. BHP and RIO both up — RIO says in its financial statement summary that it’s ahead on delivering Alcan synergies. Banks all up today with Westpac outperforming — up 1.8%.

The Dow was down 7. Up 169 at best. Down 17 at worst. Indexes down slightly after four consecutive up-days. The market was led by financials. US Financials finished down 1.9% after being up as much as 6%. Bernanke said the recession could end this year. Obama gave details about the small business assistance package. Citigroup and Bank of America up 30% and 7%. AIG up 66%. US Technology stocks underperform.

US Industrial Production hits a seven year low — factories working at 67.4% of capacity — lowest since 1948. British Barclays said they were profitable in the first tow months of 2009. HSBC said it doesn’t need more capital. European banks up. Obama said he’d pursue every legal channel to ensure the executives at AIG don’t get paid the $1.2bn in bonuses when AIG has received billions from the American taxpayer to prop-up the failing firm. He said it was an issue of “fundamental values.” Energy stocks up 0.8% on the higher oil price. BHP and RIO both down in ADR form overnight — 1.10% and 1.36% respectively. Metals up overnight. Gold down. Bonds down. A$ up.

AXA Asia Pacific (AXA) have announced a minimum $660m (max $890m) capital raising with an institutional component of $500m at $2.85 /share — will be used to pay down debt. They are in a trading halt.

  • Rio Tinto (RIO) in its summary of financial statements said it’s ahead of targets on delivering Alcan synergies and that China’s growth is expected to slow further this year.
  • Ansell (ANN) wins a New York City condom contract worth US$1.6m.
  • Nexus Energy (NXS) post a 1H NPAT loss of $67.8m and said it will divest interests in certain assets. Said there is uncertainty of future results and cash flows. The directors expect the company to have sufficient liquidity.
  • Sino Gold (SGX) said there is potential upside to Beyinhar Gold Grade.
  • Aquila Resources (AQA) announced their maiden inferred manganese resource at their Avontuur Project.
  • Mithril Resources (MTH) sold its mineral sands interests to Iluka Resources (ILU) for $550,000 in cash.
  • Resolute Mining (RSG) said the Syama commissioning is underway.

Other…

  • RBA minutes just released — suggests the RBA was close to making a cut in March, but decided to keep some pounder dry for further “flexibility” for future policy action — i.e. The RBA hasn’t finished the rate cutting cycle yet.
  • PPI numbers in the US to be released tonight — hardly think inflation is an issue at the moment and interest rates are already at zero in the US so unlikely to have an impact.
  • FOMC Meeting starts tonight — no decision until Thursday morning our time (there won’t be a decision with rates are already at zero).
  • Credit Suisse cut Nufarm’s (NUF) price target cut to 1250c from 1480c but maintain OUTPERFORM saying the global agricultural fundamentals remain attractive.
  • Merrill Lynch cut their price target on Qantas (QAN) to 211c from 230c due to the capital raising and expectations QAN will need to pay $283m into its defined benefit pension plan over the next 12-months due to investment losses. Lowers their EPS forecasts by 12% over the next couple of years.
  • The Australian bank sector has jumped 12.2% in a week — the US banking sector up 37.4% last week (biggest ever rally) but is still 71% down since the end of 2007.
  • Asian markets up yesterday – Hong Kong up 3.6%, China up 1.2%

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