The market is struggling for a second consecutive day — down another 55 — following yesterday’s 50 point fall. The SFE Futures suggested a 50 point this morning. Gold staging a bit of a recovery. Banks struggling along with Financials. RIO putting on a better performance after yesterday’s 10% falls.

The Dow Jones fell 186 overnight. Down all session — 213 at worst. Second down day after a four-week rally. Financials underperformed. Alcoa announced results after hours — The largest US aluminium producer kicked off the reporting season by posting their second consecutive loss — $497m in the 1Q — higher than some analysts expected. Aluminium. Both BHP and RIO down in ADR form overnight. Oil price down. Gold up 1.2%.

Making the news today…

  • QBE Insurance (QBE) have held their AGM — say they’re on-track for FY insurance profit margin of 16-18%. Expect gross written premium to be up 20-25% and net earned premium to be up 20-25%. QBE expect a significant increase in FY09 underwriting profit by 30%.
  • Bendigo and Adelaide Bank (BEN) have been knocked back by APRA in their bid to buy Adelaide Managed Funds Asset Yield Trust — BEN did not meet compliance requirements with prudential requirements. Adelaide Managed Funds Chairman Jenny Dawson said it was an issue of the creditworthiness of the Asset Backed Yield Trust.
  • Alumina Limited (AWC) notes Alcoa Inc’s 1Q result in the US. AWC’s alumina sector result was an after tax profit of US$35m — down 78% on-quarter. Alumina’s positive result amidst the overall Alcoa loss was mainly due to cost reductions.
  • Adelaide Brighton (ABC) plans up to a $100m equity capital raising to strengthen their balance sheet. $75m of the placement will be underwritten.
  • Amcor (AMC) note AMVIG Holdings Limited released their results for the year ended the 31st December, 2008.
  • Equinox Minerals (EQN) have their trading halt lifted announcing the terms of its Cnd$160m gross equity raising.

Other…

  • Positive broker comments for Telstra (TLS) this morning after the government scrapped the National Broadband Network RFP process and announced its intentions to instead undertake a $43bn national “super-fast” broadband network.
  • UBS Warburg have downgrade AGL Energy to Neutral from Buy.
  • Flight Centre downgraded this morning after announcing an earnings downgrade yesterday.
  • NAB not passing on the RBA rate cut. CBA only passing on 10bp.

The Dow Futures suggest a 24 point fall on Wall Street tonight.

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

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