The market is up 4. The SFE Future were up 12 this morning.

The Dow closed down 17. Down 2 at best and down 86 at worst. Gold was the big mover overnight putting on $31 to $1085. It broke the resistance of $1075 as the IMF sell gold to India. The ease of the sale and the suggestion that there were other buyers helping the rally. Oil finished $1.47 higher to $79.60 and the Aussie dollar fell slightly.

Making the news today…

  • Westpac Bank Results are out. Good — nothing to complain about. $4.46bn — in line with expectations — Range was $4.33 — 4.77bn but $4.77bn was an outlier. Final dividend of 60c was better than the 56-58c expected — Ex on 9th November. Is perhaps a reflection of Westpac’s view of the future outlook. Bad debts up 170%. But CFO says impairment charges are “near the top” and will fall in 2010. Commentary generally positive.
  • According to the AFR, the ANZ Bank (ANZ) is planning a $2bn hybrid issue thought to be priced at 250 bps over the swap rate. The paper says the deal will be released next week but investors have already been sounded out.
  • Coca-Cola Amatil (CCL) released its 3Q Trading Update and 2H outlook. It reiterated its earnings guidance for high single-digit net profit growth in the 2H. Strong Aussie dollar will cut FY 2009 earnings by around 1%. It is fully funded for all debt due to mature 2010. CCL is considered a takeover target after its rival Lion Nathan was gobbled up by an overseas player.
  • Telstra AGM today — No real surprises. The stock is up 2c to 324c this thing. New CEO David Thodey says it expects free cash flow of $6bn this year and that its top line growth guidance has come under pressure from the strong Aussie dollar. He also expects continued top and bottom line growth and will keep investing in key platforms.
  • Transfield Services (TSE) says at its AGM it is well positioned to take advantage of the opportunities in liquefied natural gas and coal seam gas developments in Australia and in North America and the Middle East.
  • Woodside Petroleum (WPL) will issue $US700m of corporate bonds in the US — the five year bonds will have a coupon of 4.5%.
  • Sundance Resources (SDL) in a trading halt. Last traded at 15c.
  • PanAust (PNA) announces record monthly copper production at its mine in Laos and says it’s on track to meet FY guidance.
  • Australian Retail Sales fell 0.4% in the 3Q compared to the 2Q. Sales also fell 0.2% in August, below the 0.4% gain economists expected.
  • Australian building approvals increased 2.7% to 12,476 units in September, above the 2% economists had expected.

The Dow Futures were up 13 at midday.

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

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey