The market is having a good day — up 39 — we have been up 63 at best — The SFE Futures were up 3 this morning. International markets finished lower but metals had a good night on the LME.

The Dow Jones closed down 39. Dow down 2 at best and down 114 at worst. Nasdaq down 18 and dropped under 2,000. Metals had a huge night led by Nickel. The Oil price touched a 7 week high. Gold was weaker following 4 straight days of gains. Aussie dollar fell to 84.08c from 84.42c.

Making the news today…

  • Alumina (AWC) 1H result — better than expected (smaller loss) — on lower costs and higher revenue — announced a profit of $6m with an underlying loss of $15m. Analysts expected an underlying loss of $19m. AWC up 10.4% — aluminium was up 4% on the LME overnight. Expect upgraded earnings numbers in the research tomorrow. JB Were retain a SELL recommendation saying the demand fundamentals for Aluminium are the weakest for all metals.
  • Tabcorp Holdings (TAH) FY result — in line with expectations — Announces a normalised profit of $496m, analysts expected $492m. “We expect that economic conditions will remain challenging in 2010”. Declared a dividend of 30c for the half. Guidance not flash and downgrades possible. TAH down 4.4%.
  • GPT Group (GPT) – major strategic review, 113 pages worth — plans to exit all of its overseas assets over time and focus entirely on Australian assets. Management wants security holders to expect safe and regular returns. GPT up 4.0%. Property Trusts having a good day. WDC up 2.7%.
  • News Corp (NWS) — Clean number a bit ahead of expectations with some stronger than expected business unit performances — Announces a $US3.4bn FY loss due to writedowns and falling advertising revenue. Clean number down 38% to US$496 pre one offs compared to consensus of $469m.
  • Transpacific Industries (TPI) has completed its recapitalization, raising $180m with 147m new share issued. The retail entitlement offer for 147m new shares remains open to eligible retail shareholders and closes August 17.
  • Lion Nathan (LNN) — Independent experts say the Kirin takeover deal is fair.
  • ConnectEast Group (CEU) announces the average daily number of trips during July of its Eastlink tollway increased 3.3% to 158,882.
  • eircom Holdings (ERC) says it is unable to recommend investors accept a revised takeover proposal from
  • Singapore’s STT Communications that includes a cash alternative.
  • St Barbara (SBM) has sold its 9.7% interest in Bendigo Mining on the market.
  • Toll Holdings (TOL) says it has formed a JV with ANL Container Line for shipping services across Bass Strait.
  • United Group (UGL) has refinanced $US315m short-term bank debt.
  • Virgin Blue (VBA) said passenger numbers were up 1.2% in June and down 4.6% on the year.

In the news…

  • Lion Nathan (LNN) says an independent expert has labeled Kirin’s takeover as fair.
  • Hills Industries (HIL) has successfully completed its $39.4m share placement at 140c a share.
  • Biota Holdings (BTA), Extract Resources (EXT), G.U.D Holdings (GUD), Mincor Resources (MCR) and Retail Food Group (RFG) have all hit a fresh year high this morning.
  • July Employment numbers came in better than expected — employment increased by 32,200. The unemployment rate remained steady at 5.8%, economists expected the number to be 6%. The A$ has jumped. Looks like interest rates may have bottomed after all.

The Dow Futures were down 14 at midday.

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

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