Not a good start to the week — down 52 — the SFE Futures were down 7 on Friday. The All Ords is 4.7% off the top.

Dow was closed on Friday for the Independence Day holiday. On Thursday night it was down 223 on weak jobs numbers but in very low volume – lowest of the year. Dow Jones is now 6.7% off the top. European markets largely flat on Friday – UK up 0.05%, DAX (Germany) down 0.22%, France up 0.1%. Copper down – LME copper inventories increased by 1.5%, bringing to an end a 40-day decline. Shanghai copper stockpiles increased by nearly 7% in the week. A$ up a touch at $79.34.

RBA Meeting tomorrow – rates very likely to be left on hold although still some brokers expecting further rate cuts before the end of the year depending on developments on the economic front.

In the news today…

  • Bendigo Mining (BDG) has acquired the Henty Gold Mine in Tasmania from Barrick Australia Ltd.
  • Leighton Holdings (LEI) has signed a project alliance agreement with India’s Tata Realty and Infrastructure, to deliver the Ramanujan IT Park in Chennai.
  • Bannerman (BMN) has announced encouraging drilling results at the Oshiveli and Onkelp Prospects with its Etango Uranium project in Namibia.
  • ASX Ltd (ASX) announces the total cash market trades increased 8% in June from last year, with the average daily trades up 3%.
  • iSOFT (ISF) closes a $7m contract in Australia and New Zealand.
  • Nexus Energy (NXS) says construction at its Longtom gas project in Gippsland, Victoria has been interrupted.
  • Avoca Resources (AVO) has upped its takeover offer for Dioro to 1 AVO share for every

In other news…

  • Australian job ads fell 6.7% in June from last month to 127,346, its lowest level since August 2004.
  • Official unemployment data is due on Thursday, with 32,000 expected to have been lost in June.
  • The Inflation Gauge increased 0.4% in June from May to an annual rate of 1.4%, well below the RBA’s 2-3% inflation target band for the second consecutive month.
  • A bit of research out this morning on BHP Billiton after it decided on Friday to sell its Yabulu Nickel mine to Clive Palmer. Citi have a Buy with a 3940c target price. Macquarie is optimistic about the resources sector and maintain their Outperform recommendation and 3986c target price. Credit Suisse upped its recommendation to neutral from underperform.
  • Deutsche Bank maintained their Hold recommendation on Aristocrat Leisure (ALL) and 340c target price despite cutting its earnings expectations by 13% in FY09 and 19% in FY10.

The Dow Futures were down 35 at noon.

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

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