The market is down 37 this morning. The SFE Futures were down 28 this morning.

Wall St. closed down 77 on Friday. The Dow was up 4 at best and down 165 at worst. Metals, Oil and Gold all finished lower, as did the Aussie dollar which fell to 82.97c compared to 84.21c Friday morning. S&P 500 fell for the first time in five weeks but is still above 1,000 at 1,004.

Fortescue Metals (FMG) has agreed on a price (below the benchmark set by RIO with Japanese, Korean and Taiwanese steelmakers) for its iron ore that will be sold to China. The deal is subject to FMG completing a funding deal with Chinese firms Baosteel Group Corp and China Iron and Steel Association, worth between $US5.5bn and $US6bn. It will sell around 20m dry metric tonnes at a price of US94c per dry metric ton unit for the July 1 to Dec 30 period.

Lots of results today…

  • BlueScope Steel (BSL) down 3% after it reported a net loss higher than some analysts had expected. The company forecasts a small loss for 1H of next year. It did note an improvement in prices and demand globally for steel.
  • Newcrest Mining (NCM) up 2.02% — its result has come in ahead of forecasts and it upped its dividend to 15c from the 11c expected.
  • Boart Longyear (BLY) has announced an interim loss of $US5.4m compared to a profit of $US111.7m last year and a $US635m capital raising. The raising will cut its debt by nearly 80%. BLY last traded at 44c.
  • Ansell (ANN) — Top end of expectations – announced a FY09 net profit of $121.4m, up 18.3%. In US dollar terms, NPAT fell 1.6% to $US90.2m. ANN says next year will remain challenging and is targeting growth opportunities. ANN up 7c to 947c.
  • NIB Holdings (NHF) up 6% after its FY normalised profit of $66m beat expectations. One broker expected $47.6m. NIB says it expects growth above industry average and to deliver an underwriting margin on 5-6%.

In other news…

  • Amcor (AMC) — Trading Halt — is set to announce the outcome of negotiations with Rio Tinto to acquire its US packaging business worth around $2.4bn. The press this morning suggested AMC is planning a $1.6bn 4-for-9 rights issue between 420c and 430c. AMC last 565c.
  • Leighton Holding’s (LEI) has had its target price lifted by 5 brokers. The rises were in the magnitude of 42%, 52% and 60%. LEI up another 8% today after its better than expected results on Friday.
  • Commonwealth Bank (CBA) has gone ex dividend 115c today.
  • Notable companies hitting a fresh yearly high today include Domino’s Pizza (DMP), Customers (CUS), NIB Holdings (NHF).
  • Japan’s economy grew for the first time in five quarters. Its real GDP grew 0.9% in April-June from the previous quarter, an annual increase rate of 3.7%.

The Dow Futures are down 53 at midday.

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

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