The market is down 37. The SFE Futures were down 2 this morning.

Wall St. closed up 5 overnight. The Dow lost most of its gains in the last hour of trading. The Dow was up 118 at best and down 3 at worst. Concerns about Greece’s debt issues did most of the damage towards the end of the session. Metals were mostly mixed, Oil closed slightly higher and the Gold price put on $3.20 to $1092. The Aussie dollar was slightly lower at 90.76c compared to 90.77c.

In other news today:

  • Santos (STO) in the news lately. They announced yesterday that they have not been approached by Woodside Petroleum (WPL) to be taken over: “Santos has not been approached by, nor is it aware of any potential interest of, Woodside other than the media speculation”. Instead of being acquired, there is now talk of them becoming an acquirer with Eastern Star Gas (ESG) being the likely target. They already have a 19% stake in ESG but only have a 35% stake in the smaller company’s CSG leases. STO down 2% to 1448c, ESG up 2.5c to 94c.
  • Insurance Australia Group (IAG) provides an update on the Perth Storms. They have received in excess of 13,500 claims and expect to claim on their catastrophe reinsurance cover. New Fy10 insurance margin guidance is expected to be 9.5%-11% from 10.5%-12%. IAG down 3c to 388c.
  • Front page of the AFR tells us Wesfarmers (WES) is looking to offer home and car insurance at their retail outlets. Being a conglomerate and all, the program will be underwritten by their own insurance arm which earned $1.4bn worth of premiums in 2009. WES down 72c to 2138c.
  • Talk of private equity running the numbers on Alesco Corp (ALS) saying it might be worth more broken up then combined after a series of profit downgrades. ALS up 5c to 300c
  • Qantas Airways (QAN) said passenger numbers in February increased by 14% from a year ago. Average tickets prices fell 5.1% on domestic routes and down 18.5% on international routes. QAN down 2c to 283c
  • Elders (ELD) has commissioned accountancy firm Ernst & Young to review their forestry assets. ELD down 5.1% to 128c.
  • Western Areas (WSA) down 5.4% to 490c after selling $125m of convertible bonds in an offer that was oversubscribed from investors in all “major capital markets”.
  • Gunns (GNS) says they will sell 8 Mitre-10 stores to reduce their debt. GNS down 1.5c to 52.5c
  • Companies hitting fresh 52 week highs today include: Amcor (AMC), Cochlear (COH), Orica (ORI) and Ausdrill (ASL).

The Dow Futures were down 19 at midday.

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