The market is down 36. The SFE Futures were down 21 this morning.

Wall St. closed down 8. The Dow was up 63 at best and down 42 at worst. Metals were mixed overnight, the oil price put on 13c to $72.47 and Gold fell $6.70 to $1013.50. The Aussie dollar fell to 87.07c versus 87.29c yesterday morning.

Making the news today…

  • On the rumour mill — Kerry Stokes and the Seven Network bidding for Fairfax (see below). Noticeably Fairfax started going up the day before the announcement that Cons Media (CMJ) and Seven (SEV) had reached a standstill agreement. FXJ down 3c to 169c.
  • Austar (AUN) up 5c to 125c yesterday on talk of a merger with Foxtel and as they negotiate an extension to their debt facilities. AUN up 1.5c to 126.5c.
  • Lion Nathan’s takeover by Japan’s Kirin Breweries has been approved by shareholders. LNN down 1c to 1194c.
  • OECD comment — “Australia’s fiscal stimulus package seems to have had a strong effect in cushioning the decline in employment caused by the global economic downturn.” Tony Abbott at the OECD: “If you put a sugar hit into the economy, you’d get an immediate response but there’s no such thing as a free gift from government and what happened will have to be paid for.”
  • IPO Market — With the IPO done and MYER ready to hit the market, there are only 3 small offerings at the moment totaling $16m, Sumatra Copper & Gold (SCG), Dourado Resources and Genesis Resources. The AFR tell us only 16 companies have listed so far in 2009, 72 floats last year and 242 in 2007. But there is a good chance the market will come to life with almost $12bn IPOs believed to be hitting the market in the next year. On another note, private equity group TPG is considering retaining a 10% stake in MYER.
  • The Australian says a group of international hedge funds has joined forces to offer an alternative lifeline to Babcock & Brown Infrastructure (BBI). BBI last traded at 5.3c.
  • Norway’s Golar LNG Ltd will sell gas to Toyota Tsusho Corp from the proposed Fisherman’s Landing liquefied natural gas project in QLD. Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) is developing the project and Arrow Energy (AOE) has agreed to provide it with feedstock. AOE up 4%.
  • Linc Energy (LNC) has received non-binding indicative offers for three coal properties in QLD. LNC down 4% to 167.5c.
  • Newcrest Mining (NCM) says its O’Callaghans tungsten mine would be capable of producing 4,800 metric tons of the grayish ore used in electrical applications. NCM down 36c to 3486c.
  • WorleyParsons (WOR) gets awarded US Steel Capital Projects Alliance contract which is expected to generate over $US50m. WOR up 6c to 2933c

The Dow Futures are down 38 at midday.

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

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