The market is down 34. The SFE Futures were up 5 this morning.

Wall St. was closed overnight for the Martin Luther King Holiday. European markets did well — UK was up on continued expectations of a final bid and counterbid for Cadbury. Brent crude for March delivery was up 15c to $US77.26 and Gold was steady. The Aussie dollar improved slightly to 92.65c from 92.12c. Main US results tonight include Citigroup and IBM.

Quiet day on the news front…

  • Computershare (CPU) up 7% this morning after announcing profit guidance ahead of its interim result next month. Preliminary numbers indicate that management earnings per share for that period will be around 20% higher than they were in both the first and second halves of 2009. Full year likely to be up 10% versus consensus at 5%.
  • Suggestions BHP Billiton will announce a share buyback program at its interim result next month. They announce quarterly production numbers tomorrow. BHP up 15c to 4359c.
  • Street Talk suggests the Commonwealth Bank (CBA) could be looking to join the merger and acquisitions activity in the wealth management sector after NAB bid for AXA. CBA down 104c to 5701c.
  • Analysts suggest Toll Holdings (TOL), a serial acquirer, could be on the verge of making a $1.5bn acquisition considering it has more than $1bn worth of cash sitting on its balance sheet…an event that could cap the share price for a while. TOL down 22c to 901c.
  • Kingsgate Consolidated (KCN) produced 40,224 ounces of Gold in the 2Q. 1H gold output came in at 69,526 ounces. Expects FY gold output to be at the upper limit of 120,000-140,000 ounces. The numbers have been described as solid. Patersons reiterates its BUY recommendation. KCN up 16c to 959c.
  • Oz Minerals (OZL) will take up its full $3.8m entitlement in a share placement by IMX Resources. OZL down 1c to 117.5c.
  • Karoon Gas (KAR) up 6.3% to 823c after saying it will retest the Poseidon 2 well from early next week.
  • Minara Resources (MRE) has announced a 10.7% increase in 4th Q nickel production and expects similar output in the 2010 calendar year. MRE up 1.5c to 82c.
  • Australian goods imports increased by 7% to $17.42bn in December from $16.27bn in the previous month.
  • Lihir (LGL) say the resignation of the CEO is nothing to do with the performance of the company but not everyone is convinced with some suggestion that without a CEO they are an obvious bid target. LGL up 4c to 336c.
  • Stocks hitting fresh yearly highs include Computershare (CPU), Riversdale Mining (RIV) and Wilson HTM Investments (WIG).

The Dow Futures were up 32 at midday.

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