The market is down 45. The SFE futures suggested a 29 point fall in the market this morning. ANZ is holding up well after its $2.5bn institutional placement at 1440c. There are suggestions they will now bid $1-2bn for RBS’s Asian assets and that the fund raising improves their chances by making them a more convincing bidder. Brokers fairly positive on the bank this morning — three BUYS, two HOLDS and a SELL. Down 1.6% to 1532c.

The Dow was down 173. Up 22 at best — down 184 at worst. Finished on lows. All sectors down over 1% except for the technology sector. The S&P 500 got pushed back into negative territory year-to-date. Treasury yields jump catalyzing a broad sell-off in the equities markets. Concerns that higher interest rates will undercut a recovery in the economy. April’s existing home sales better-than-expected. US Financials down. Retailers down 2.2%. BHP and RIO both down in ADR form overnight — 3.38% and 3.61% respectively. Metals down. Oil up. Gold unchanged.

Main stories today…

  • CSL Ltd (CSL) confirmed their commitment to the Talecris transaction saying they will vigorously oppose the US FTC decision.
  • Primary Health Care (PRY) in a trading halt plans to raise $255m at 500c/share in a fully underwritten placement.
  • Monadelphous Group (MND) secured a $170m contract with Woodside (WPL) for works on the $12bn Pluto LNG plant.
  • Tower Australia (TAL) posts strong 1H underlying profit of $38.2m, up 13% from $33.9m a year ago. Leighton Holdings (LEI) entered a long term alliance with EnergyAustralia to support the delivery of $8bn of electricity network projects planned for NSW out to 2014.
  • Iluka (ILU) at their AGM note overall mineral sands sales revenue has been inline with its revised expectations.
  • Carnarvon Petroleum (CVN) announced a discovery of commercial hydrocarbons at a well in Thailand.
  • Oz Minerals (OZL) has new acting CEO until Burgess takes over.
  • AED Oil (AED) acquires a 50% interest in the Longtom Gas Project.
  • Austar United (AUN) confirms inline guidance at their AGM — expecting FY09 EBITDA growth of 10-15%.
  • Stockland Group (SGP) completes the initial allotment of 592m shares in their equity raising.
  • Ausenco Ltd (AAX) in a trading halt pending the announcement of a capital raising.
  • Toro Energy (TOE) and Deep Yellow (DYL) form a JV exploring for Uranium in Namibia.


  • The 1Q Australian business investment drop of 8.9% was bigger than the 6% fall expected — should confirm a technical recession in the 1Q GDP number next week.
  • Monsanto fell by 6% on a profit warning. Not good news for Incitec Pivot or Nufarm.
  • Rio Tinto chairman has listened to complaints but is continuing to support the $US19.5bn Chinalco deal.
  • Incitec Pivot (IPL) is a BUY at UBS with a 300c target. They say the stock has underperformed its global peers.
  • JP Morgan keeps Westfield (WDC) at Overweight with a 1270c target — said its liquidity position and leverage is reasonable.
  • Fortescue Metals (FMG) says the China recovery is “absolutely certain.”

The Dow Futures suggest a 2 point fall on Wall Street tonight.

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

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