The market is up 12 — it might have done its dash for the day — we were up 60 on the open and down 1 just before midday. The SFE Futures suggested a 75 point rise in the market this morning. Had our good day yesterday finishing up 113. Resources doing the best — up 1.5%. BHP and RIO up 1.8% and 2.4%. The All Ords breaks up through the 3728 level — next target is 3939 then 4287. The ASX 200 has broken 3776 resistance — next stop, 3960 level.

The Dow was up 214. Up all session — 221 at best. All 10 sectors up. Strong gains in Asia and Europe helped lift Wall Street. Asia announced the set-up of a $120bn emergency liquidity fund yesterday. There was also news that China’s 2Q GDP would be more positive than the 1Q. Financials up over 10% on a reduction of fear around the stress-testing results due Thursday. The White House made positive comments about not needing more bailout funds at the moment. Pending home sales and construction figures were much better-than-expected. Material and energy stocks up on the higher oil and gold prices overnight. BHP and RIO both up in ADR form — 4.6% and 5.5% respectively.

The RBA is expected to leave rates at 3% today.

  • BlueScope Steel (BSL) in a trading halt pending a $1.41bn entitlement offer at $1.55/share — a 40% discount. BLS already sold $550m in new shares in December to cut its debt. Analysts predict BLS need to refinance ~$1.5bn by 2012 with $720m in facilities maturing next FY year. They will make an announcement Thursday.
  • Noble Group said it will boost its cash offer for Gloucester Coal (GCL) to $6 a share from $4.85 a share. Nobel insisted the board declare it a superior offer compared to Whitehaven Coal (WHC) merger proposal.
  • Oz Mineral’s (OZL) CEO Andrew Michelmore is stepping down to be an executive with the miner.
  • APN News and Media (APN) in its Chairman’s Address expect 1H09 NPAT around $40m. Note 1Q costs down 10% on-year. Said conditions were tough in the 1Q in the media sector.
  • Asciano (AIO) announces a new long-term contract with Macarthur Coal.
  • Atlas Iron (AGO) exercise their option to acquire iron ore rights in the Pilbara.
  • Australian Infra Fund (AIX) note passengers in the March quarter were down 1.1% on-year.
  • SP AusNet (SPN) is actively considering capital management initiatives including equity and debt raisings and spending cuts.
  • Centennial Coal (CEY) up nearly 10% early announcing it expects FY10 output of 18.9m tonnes ROM under management.
  • Beach Petroleum (BPT) make a $50m share-based takeover offer for Drillsearch Energy (DLS).
  • Macquarie Leisure (MLE) post solid 3Q trading results.

Other…

  • Building approvals increased 3.5% in March — well above the 2% rise expected — indicating some stability in the housing sector. In the past 12 months, building approvals fell 16.5%.
  • Activity in the services industry increased 4.3 points to 39.8 points, but the sector still managed to go backwards for a 13th consecutive month.
  • In the press BHP is hosing down speculation it will bid for Oz Minerals (OZL).
  • The AFR today said RIO’s head of iron ore operations told analysts that they would terminate contracts for their ore under a “drop-dead clause” if there are no price agreements.
  • Macquarie Group up over 5% on the open on upgrades from brokers this morning.
  • ANZ and ING are speculated to be interested parties currently eying Aviva’s Australian Assets for which indicative offers are due Friday.
  • Rumours that Sol Trujillo’s job as CEO at Telstra might be replaced from inside the company.
  • Asciano says it has 6 interested parties looking over its books.
  • The Federal government will delay the start to the emissions trading scheme and fix the price of carbon at $10 per tonne for the first year in 2012.

The Dow Futures suggest a 19 point fall on Wall Street.

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