The market is up 25. The SFE Futures were up 5 this morning.

Wall St. fell 10 overnight. The Dow was up 58 at best and down 24 at worst. The S&P 500 was led by energy stocks. Gold and oil closed higher, up 1.16% and 2.7% respectively, but the Aussie dollar continues to fall — now down to 90.02c versus 90.68c yesterday. The FOMC left interest rates unchanged. The market went backwards after the meeting.

Making the news today…

  • The big news this morning is the National Australia Bank (NAB) counter bid for AXA Asia Pacific (AXA). The bid values AXA at 643c a share. NAB appears to have agreed terms with AXA APH (the parent) to buy the NZ and Australian businesses (same as AMP). NAB is still in a trading halt, last traded at 2795c, with a match price of 2600c. AXA up 11.86% to 632c. No comment from any of the other three major banks. AMP up 3.6% and at 632c its bid is now worth 631c. AXA has rejected both bids. NAB have their AGM today.
  • Woodside Petroleum’s (WPL) has begun trading again — down 1.02% to 4362c — it raised $1.7bn at 4210c a share from institutional shareholders as part of its $2.5bn raising. Over 93% of eligible institutional shareholders have taken up their entitlements. Royal Dutch Sell has taken up its entitlement in full at 4210c to maintain its 34% holding.
  • GUD will wait on more detail from the ACCC before deciding what action to take following the regulators decision to reject GUDs takeover play for Breville Group (BRG). BRG fell 25% on the news yesterday after the ACCC said the deal would restrict competition in the small electrical appliances industry. GUD fell 11c to 819c, BRG up 3c to 158c.
  • Leighton Holdings (LEI) has released its 1Q update and says 1Q net profit is up 25% on last year to $130.9m. Value of work in hand stood at $29.23bn as of Sept 30. It is up 40c to 3696c.
  • Westpac Bank told shareholders at its AGM yesterday that they should expect further rate rises next year. WBC down 37c to 2323c.
  • Macquarie Media Group (MMG) says sales at its domestic and US operations have falling at the start of the financial year. MMG up 5c to 199c.
  • RHG Ltd (RHG) in a trading halt. Last traded at 63.5c.
  • Perilya’s (PEM) 1 for 3 rights issue has successfully raised $55.2m. PEM down 1c to 60c.
  • Tokyo Gas is apparently in talks with several companies, including ConocoPhillips, on long term supply of LNG produced from CSG in Australia.
  • According to The Wall Street Journal, China has not yet received an application for a regulatory review of the iron ore JV proposed by RIO and BHP. BHP up 55c to 4160c and RIO up 103c to 7183c.
  • Stocks hitting fresh yearly highs today include AXA Asia Pacific (AXA), Centennial Coal (CEY) and News Corp (NWS).

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

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