The market is up 82. The SFE Futures suggested a 67 point rise in the market this morning. Most sectors up. Strong day. Talk of China’s GDP growth rate coming in better-than-expected. Resources up 4.3% — BHP and RIO up 5.2% and 3.3%. Industrials up 2.1%. Financials up 1.2% — banks all up — WBC up another 3.1%.
The Dow was up 101. Up 106 at best. Down 7 at worst. Dow rose above the 8,500 mark for the first time since Jan 9 — the index is down only 3% year-to-date. 8.1% jump in financial stocks as fears subsided over the stress-test results tonight in the US. Media leaks some of the results of the stress testing. Bank index up 11.5%. Industrials up 1.7% — GE up 4.35%. News Corp 3Q profit up 1% on-year. BHP and RIO both up in ADR form overnight — 3.15% and 3.26% respectively. Metals all up. Oil up. Gold up.
News Corp (NWS) up 10% posting solid 3Q results with income down 46% on-year to US$755m. Reiterated guidance for a 30% drop in operating profit (adjusted) for the FY09 ending June. NWS posted NPAT in their newspapers and television divisions down 97% and 99%. Rupert Murdochs comments regarding the outlook were positive.
- Bluescope Steel (BSL.) raised $797m at $1.55 /share from institutional shareholders after an 89% take-up under its rights offer.
- Suncorp-Metway (SUN) note they are feeling the impact of declining property values. Note significant progress in splitting their loan book into core and non-core portfolios.
- QBE Insurance (QBE) said they expect overall rate increases of about 4% in 2009. QBE said the investment markets remain challenging. Aiming for a 16-18% insurance profit margin in FY09.
- CSL Limited (CSL) down over 4% as it comments that it is aware of the market speculation regarding proposed acquisition of Talecris. Says deal before US Federal Trade Commission.
- Bank of Queensland (BOQ) said the wholesale funding markets will likely remain volatile and expensive. Said growth is slowing and they expect the economy to bottom in late 2010.
- Bendigo and Adelaide Bank (BEN) will increase its stake in Elders Rural Bank to 60% after agreeing to buy another 10% stake in the lender from Elders (ELD) for around $33.9m.
- Tabcorp Holdings (TAH) boosted revenue growth 3.6% in the first four months of the CY but warned of a tough outlook.
- Sims Metal (SGM) posted an expected NPAT loss of $94m for the nine months to March.
- SP AusNet (SPN) executed three bank facilities to raise $275m to refinance existing short-term facilities and fund its growth.
- Adelaide Brighton (ABC) note 2009 acquisition activity has been put on hold until valuation expectations abate.
- ConnectEast (CEU) post April average daily revenue down 2.5% verses March.
- Iluka (ILU) has approval from financiers to sell their 51% in stake in Consolidated Rutile Ltd (CRL).
- Macquarie Media Group (MMG) CEO Mark Dorney said the group is “well-positioned”, despite a tougher advertising environment in the 2H09.
- Alumina (AWC) expects global aluminium demand to drop 7% in 2009. Expects China’s consumption to be flat.
- Western Areas (WSA) sign a formal off-take deal with BHP to sell 10,000 tonnes of Nickel per year.
- OneSteel (OST) said they’re on track to achieve FY09 iron ore sales of 5m tonnes. Reaffirmed FY net operating profit guidance.
- WorleyParsons (WOR) expect good growth for the FY09. Note they expect contracts to support 2010 earnings. Also company notes a US$100 JV contract extension with Transfield (TSE) in Qatar.
- Macquarie Office (MOF) secured a US59m loan for 1 Christina Centre.
- GPT Group (GPT) in a trading halt pending the outcome of an equity raising. Plans to raise at least $1.2bn at a 26% discount to pay debt. GPT raised $1.6bn last November.
- April total employment increases by 27,300 — believe it or not. Australian jobless rate actually falls in April, surprising wary analysts and bucking the global trend. Unemployment rate down to 5.4% versus 5.7% in March — 5.9% was expected.
The Dow Futures suggest a 16 point fall on Wall Street.
MARCUS PADLEY is the Author of the MARCUS TODAY Daily Stockmarket Newsletter.
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