The market is up 26. The SFE Futures were up 41 this morning.

Wall St. closed up 112 overnight. First positive session in four days. Dow up 137 at best and down 7 at worst. All 10 major sectors up. Metals were mixed and the oil price put on 75c to $70.41. A $13.50 rally in the gold price overnight to $1017 has kept the gold bulls in the game after they bought the last break only to see it fall over again. The price is doing a lot of work around its all time high, feeding hopes of an upward break.

Making the news today…

  • The RBA Meets today — After the strong jobs data yesterday (ANZ job ads up 4.4% in September) the odds of a rate rise today have lifted to 50/50. If rates are lifted, we can expect the Aussie dollar to strengthen further. We are almost at 90c (hit 88.59c last week) with talk of parity in early 2010.
  • Myer have announced that they have had $2bn worth of requests for stock from stockbrokers. The float is expected to be worth up to $3bn depending on demand. It is a pretty solid reflection of the demand for new issues as we emerge from the desert of the global financial crisis. We have already seen the IPO of and Kathmandu and the business that owns Rebel Sport are the next cabs off the rank. It seems the retailers in particular can’t get out of the door fast enough after the recent 51.2% rise in the market. Not sure it reflects the attractions of the stock so much as the appetite for a very high profile corporate issue.
  • Brambles (BXB) in a Trading Halt — It plans to announce the outcome of the strategic review undertaken into its CHEP pallet pooling business in the US and a few management changes. Talk of CEO Mike Ihlein being replaced. BXB last traded at 765c.
  • Woodside Petroleum (WPL) reiterates annual production guidance and says it will make a decision on a second production train at its Pluto liquefied natural gas plant by late 2010. WPL down 17c to 5116c.
  • OneSteel (OST) is on track to achieve iron ore sales of 6m metric tons this fiscal year. OST up 3c to 301c.
  • GrainCorp (GNC) announces the acquisition of United Malt for $757m, the world’s fourth largest commercial malt manufacturer. GNC in a trading halt.
  • BIDDING WAR for POLARIS METALS — Lion-Asia Resources has launched a $105.5m cash offer (60c a share) for iron ore player Polaris Metals (POL), beating Mineral Resources (MIN) offer for one MIN share for every 12.5 Polaris shares held, by 19%. POL up 16% to 59.5c.
  • WorleyParsons (WOR) has been appointed to conduct a prefeasibility study for Flinders’ Pilbara Iron Ore Project. WOR up 3.2% to 2923c.
  • Serviced office provider Servcorp (SRV) and Virgin Blue (VBA) have both hit fresh yearly highs.

The Dow Futures are up 4 at midday.

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

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