The market is down 18. The SFE Futures were down 1 overnight. The RBA is expected to leave interest rates on Hold at 3% when it decides on interest at 2:30pm later today.

The Dow Jones closed up 44 overnight. Closed right on its high. Late buying. Low volume. Dow up 47 at best and down 75 at worst. European markets down — UK down 1%, DAX (Germany) down 1.2%, France down 1.2%. Oil price down a big 3.9% or $2.62 to $64.06 and Gold also fell $6.70.

Making the news…

  • If we are to believe the press, Amcor (AMC) is close to buying Rio’s remaining Alcan packaging business for between $US2bn-$US2.5bn. Lots of broker research on both companies this morning after Rio sold its Alcan Packaging Food Americas division to Bermis for $US1.2bn.
  • The AFR says Nufarm (NUF) could be receiving a takeover bid from China’s state owned Sinochem Group. It’s not the first time NUF has been bid for, back in late 2007 it received a $2.8bn (1725c a share) offer from China National Chemical Corp. NUF up 4% on the back of the news.
  • ABB Grain (ABB) has announced a profit downgrade. Now expects FY09 NPAT of $43m-$53m, down from $53m-$63m. ABB down 3.75% to $9.
  • Arrow Energy (AOE) say construction costs are $15m less than initially budgeted. The Braemar 2 Power Station also fully operational.
  • Kagara (KZL) has raised in excess of $150m via its rights issue.
  • Connect East (CEU) — EastLink June average daily trips fell 7% last month compared to May.
  • Dioro Exploration (DIO) directors are advising shareholders to take no action on Avoca Resources Improved takeover bid.
  • Patties Foods (PFL) has appointed a new Chairman.
  • Macquarie Office Trust (MOF) announces its Berlin property has breached its loan terms.
  • Dioro Exploration (DIO) directors are advising shareholders to take no action on Avoca Resources (AVO) upped bid for the company. AVO has received acceptances for less than 1% of DIO shares.
  • Centrebet (CIL) which recently hit a fresh yearly low, has upped its profit guidance and expects a strong performance in 2010. CIL down 30.9% in the past year.
  • Ausenco (AAX) has raised $50m through an oversubscribed share purchase plan. 15.46m shares will be issued under the plan.
  • Westpac Bank (WBC) has sold $1.08bn of government guaranteed, March 2014 dated bonds.

Also in the news…

  • Credit Suisse cut their recommendation on Karoon Gas (KAR) to Neutral from Outperform due to recent share price appreciation. $9 target price. The stock is up 8.1% since June 22.
  • GSJB Were says Woodside (WPL) will provide the most defensive exposure of all Aussie oil stocks because its share price isn’t factoring in much project optionality compared to Santos and Oil Search.
  • RBS Equities cuts its target price on Qantas (QAN) to 166c from 170c and maintain their Sell recommendation saying significant challengers remain for the company as pricing environment remains weak.
  • The AIG-HIA performance of construction index fell 4.3 points in June from May to 42.6, below the 50-point mark which separates contraction from expansion. It is the 16th consecutive month that it has gone backwards.

The Dow Futures are down 18 at midday.

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

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