The market is up 13. The SFE Futures were down 5 this morning.

Wall St. closed up 17 overnight. The Dow was up 20 at best and down 54 at worst. The Dow has finished higher for the 5th consecutive session. The FOMC Meeting and Statement is due out tonight. Metals were down in London, oil price fell 64c to $80.13 and Gold put on $4 at $1105. The Aussie dollar fell slightly to 91.43c from 91.82c yesterday morning.

In the news today…

  • Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) announces the terms of the sale of their Fisherman’s Landing LNG project in QLD to Arrow Energy (AOE) has changed to allow either party to terminate the agreement with one day’s notice. LNG up 9.8% to 56c and AOE up 3c to 528c.
  • Seven Network (SEV) – Trading Halt – Pending the release of the scheme booklet relating to their proposed merger with WesTrac Holdings. Independent expert, Deloitte Corporate Finance, has valued the merger company between 709c and 857c a share with a mid point range of 783c. SEV last traded at 795c.
  • The Age says Rio Tinto (RIO) and Chinese giant Chinalco are teaming up again less than a year after RIO left Chinalco at the altar, choosing to merge their iron ore division with BHP instead of completing a $US19.5bn asset and equity deal. They are in discussions to develop the Simandou iron ore field in Guinea, in West Africa, that might cost $US12bn. RIO up 18c to 7556c.
  • Telstra Corp (TLS) says they have priced a EUR1bn 10 year bond that was six times oversubscribed. TLS up 2.1% to 310c.
  • CBH Resources (CBH) says they have been approached by a party that could potentially launch an alternative bid to the $290m takeover offer from Belgium’s Nyrstar. They haven’t announced the party; chances are it is Toho Zinc, which owns 23% of the company. CBH unchanged at 17c.
  • Molopo Energy (MPO) will raise $60m – $28m through a renounceable entitlement offer priced at 103c and another $31.5m through an institutional share auction. Now 131c.
  • Sundance Resources (SEA) will raise up to $8.7m via placement and share purchase plan. SEA down 3.2% to 15c.
  • Talk is that Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) has priced a US$3.5bn bond offer. CBA up 4c to 5564c.
  • The RBA Minutes suggest that interest rates are likely to remain on Hold in April. The RBA lifted rates last month to 4% on the back of the Australian economy improving, but board members expressed concerns about the fallout from the Greek financial crisis.
  • Stocks hitting fresh yearly highs include: REA Group (REA), Lycopodium (LYL) and Snowball Group (SNO). Tassal Group (TGR)

The Dow Futures are down 7 at midday.

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