The market is up 82 — having a strong day on the back of broad-based gains in the US. The SFE Futures suggested a 58 point rise in the market this morning. Industrials and resources both up over 3% and financials and property not far behind. Banks doing well on positive comments out of the US Treasury Department about a recovery in the financial sector. 3706 on the ASX 200 is seen as resistance (the recent high), a break of that will target 3817.

The Dow was up 152. Up 181 at best. Down 125 at worst. Second quarter begins with an up-day. 9 out of 10 sectors up. Financials up on Geithner’s positive comments about the financial sector showing signs of recovery. Only health care stocks down — Biotec Celgene issued a profit warning. Homebuilders up on the better-than-expected pending homes sales data. Surprise rebound in pending home sales. Improving manufacturing activity. Poor ADP jobs data ahead of the government’s official non-farm unemployment figures Friday. G-20 starts tonight — US government, China and Japan pushing for macro economic stimulus. BHP and RIO both up in ADR form overnight — 1.93% and 3.04% respectively. Metals mixed. Oil price down 2.4% to $48.46. Gold up. Bonds up. A$/US$ up.

Quiet day on the news front…

  • ING Office Fund (IOF) at their extraordinary unitholder meeting said they have no plans to raise additional capital to the $414m raised late last year and said operating earnings remain resilient — said they are on track for a 4.25c distribution for the 2H09. The fund expects difficult debt and equity markets to continue throughout 2009.
  • Babcock & Brown Japan Property Trust (BJT) are in a trading halt.
  • Ten Network (TEN) have results today.
  • Post the bid for Macquarie Communications at a 50% premium to the share price there is a rumour of a move on Babcock & Brown Wind (BBW) which is up 7c to 103c. Debt riddled infrastructure stocks are suddenly a traders delight.
  • Alumina bid rumour rolls on — rumours of a bid for Alcoa in the US from BHP continue to reflect well on Alumina (AWC) in Australia.

Other…

  • Seek’s (SEK) joint CEO Bassat says he’s comfortable with FY09 EBITDA forecast of $93m and says the firm is operating comfortably within lending covenants but can’t rule out a future capital raising despite having no plans to tap investors for capital.
  • Oz Minerals (OZL) has been downgraded by many brokers this morning after the revised bid from Minmetals (excluding Prominent Hill). Macquarie Equities OZL cut from Outperform to Neutral with 65c target price highlighting risks remain with OZL’s balance sheet, with Prominent Hill working capital and Century stripping still eating up Sepon’s free cashflow and eating into OZL’s remaining cash. UBS Warburg cut to Neutral from Buy with price target cut to 60c from 83c. Citi keep Hold with 60c target price — remain bearish on copper short term. Credit Suisse maintain Neutral but cut target price to 70c from 83c .
  • UBS initiate coverage of Arrow Energy (AOE) as a BUY with a price target of 371c saying the stock will be underpinned by CSM reserves and positive production growth outlook.
  • Macquarie Group cut David Jones (DJS) and Harvey Norman (HVN) to UNDERPERFORM on the basis of their outperformance the last couple of months whilst the outlook for the discretionary retail sector is deteriorating.
  • The OECD say the economy of its 30 members will contract 4.3 percent this year and the World Bank lowered its growth forecast for developing countries for 2009 by more than half to 2.1 percent.
  • RBS Equities said the Aussie banks have done their dash and have downgraded the bank sector.
  • Yesterday’s weak retail sales numbers described as a sign that the Christmas $10bn stimulus package has worn out.

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