The market is up 1. The SFE Futures suggested a 35 point rise in the market this morning. Resources down 0.6%. BHP down 0.8%. RIO up 1.4%. Financials up 0.5% — not a deafening roar given the 8% jump in financials overnight.

The Dow was up 127. Up 138 at best. Down 50 at worst. Financials up 8.2% on Geithner’s comments about bank’s capital positions. Airline stocks soar on some positive results. Only healthcare stocks down. DuPont, United Technologies and Caterpillar up on results. Yahoo!’s result poor as expected. BHP and RIO both up in ADR form overnight — 3.06% and 4.72% respectively. Metals mixed overnight. Oil price up 0.83c. Gold down $4.80. Bonds down.

BHP Billiton (BHP) posted production numbers down on-year in the March quarter. The result was a little weaker than in the December quarter, but ahead of some analyst’s expectations with iron ore and metallurgical coal broadly in-line with expectations – 1Q iron ore down 1% on-year to 28.19m tonnes.

Cited a slump in global demand. Alumina and manganese were weaker than expected. Petroleum, aluminium, copper and nickel were in line. BHP remains uncertain about future conditions. BHP previously curtailed output at its Samarco iron ore pellet plant in Brazil, with no cuts at Western Australia operations. Escondida total output for 2009 is expected to be down 30% because of lower ore grades and mill problems. BHP said it is well positioned for acquisitions

  • Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) announced agreement with Hunan Valin Iron and Steel Group has been approved by China’s National Development and Reform Commission. This clears the way for China’s Ministry of Commerce and the State Administration of Foreign Exchange to formalize the agreement and let Valin buy 260m new shares at $2.48 each to raise $644.8m.
  • Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) noted it has signed a 10-year, $100-million-a-year contract with Telstra (TLS) ahead of its telecommunications network upgrade.
  • Energy Resources (ERA) at their AGM note they are focused on exploring existing leases and that applications for the Ranger Mine Expansion is progressing.
  • AXA Asia Pacific (AXA) in an update note funds under management were down 5% to $74.8bn over the quarter.
  • Macquarie Infrastructure (MIG) in their traffic and revenue report said APRR 1Q09 traffic was down 6.8% on-year with revenue down 5.9% on-year.
  • Sonic Healthcare’s (SHL) US competitor Quest Diagnostics posted a better-than-expected 1Q09 result.
  • Skilled Group (SKE) issued a profit warning — NPAT to fall to the $27m-30m range rather than the $34m-$41m range.
  • Aristocrat Leisure (ALL) completed their $3.25 per share $200m institutional capital raising.
  • Incitec Pivot (IPL) said James Fazzino, acting CEO, will replace Julian Segal.
  • OneSteel (OST) announce a retail entitlement offer.
  • Caltex (CTX) appoint Julian Segal as CEO.
  • Origin Energy (ORG), JV partner with ConocoPhillips (COP), said it has acquired coal seam gas assets in QLD for $660m — 100% interest in exploration permit ATP 788P from the Pangaea group of companies.
  • Woodside (WPL) announce a Heads of Agreement has been executed with the WA government and Aboriginal landowners for the Kimberly LNG Project.
  • Extract Resources (EXT) up on the quarterly activity report.

Other…

  • Australia’s Australian 3Q CPI inflation data was a mixed bag — headline CPI was +0.1% up on-quarter, well under expectations, but the trimmed mean figure of +1.0% was on the high side. CBA economist says the result warrants cautious monetary policy. ComSec expects one more 25bp cut.
  • Merrill Lynch said there is firm downside risk for the Australian media sector.
  • Goldman Sachs lifts price target on Asciano (AIO) to 220c from 150c. Credit Suisse downgrades AIO to a NEUTRAL from Outperform but ups target to 140c from 120c.
  • Credit Suisse cut Boart Longyear (BLY) to NEUTRAL from Outperform downgrading its revenue forecast.
  • Merrill Lynch said Alumina (AWC) is likely to require a capital raising.

The Dow Futures suggest a 40 point fall on Wall Street.

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