The market is up 32. Good result considering the SFE Futures were up just 3 this morning and the whole commodities sector performance overnight was woeful.

The Dow closed down 26. Up 2 at best and down 83 at worst. Barack Obama said the US economy may be seeing the beginning of the end of the recession. Oil price down 5.8% or $3.90 overnight. Gold down as well. Aussie dollar fell to 81.72c.

Making the news today…

  • Austar United (AUN) — Interim results — 1H net profit came in at $35.5m, with 1H EBITDA up 13% to $115m and no interim dividend. Revenue up 8% to $331m, operating expenses were up 3% to $71m. Subscribers increased 8,449 to 728,719 in the 1H09. Up 5.5%.
  • Foster’s Group (FGL) has secured a US$500m three year facility that will be used for general purposes and to maintain liquidity. It was initially after $US300m but Asian banks decided they wanted to participate and upped the debt on offer by another $US200m. Price unchanged.
  • GPT Group (GPT) has responded to the article in the AFR today saying it is reviewing a range of options regarding its JV with Babcock & Brown. The paper said GPT was considering spinning off most of its toxic assets from the JV into a separate $6bn international property JV. Up 2.8%.
  • Lihir Gold (LGL) announces 2Q gold output fell to 294,024 ounces from 317,998 in the previous quarter, but says it is on track for FY guidance of 1-1.2m ounces. 2Q cash costs rose to US$368 an ounce, up from US$329 in 1Q. Up 4c to 274c.
  • Linc Energy (LNC) in a trading halt pending completion of a placement of shares to institutional and sophisticated investors.
  • Macquarie Airports (MAP) still expects to sell its total interest in Japan Airport Terminal despite JAT closing its off-market tender buyback offer.
  • According to the press, BHP may have convinced the majority of its customers, including some big Chinese steel mills, that it’s more beneficial to ditch the traditional annual pricing system and move to a quarterly pricing method.

In other news…

  • Arrow Energy (AOE) said Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) is on track to make a decision on its LNG project in QLD by the 1Q of 2010. LNG up 7%.
  • Mixed responses from analysts this morning after Macquarie Group’s (MQG) earnings guidance and AGM yesterday. One broker cut their recommendation to Hold from Buy, another upped its target price to 4340c from 3200c.
  • Building Approvals were up 9.3% in June, slightly better than expected. Economists were expecting 8%.
  • G.U.D Holdings (GUD) and Mincor Resources (MCR) have hit fresh yearly highs today.
  • Macquarie Group upped its recommendation on West Australian Newspapers (WAN) to Neutral from Underperform saying they are growing more optimistic about the economy.

The Dow Futures are up 14 at midday.

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

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