The market is having a bad day — down 67 — after Standard & Poors cut Greece’s debt rating to “Junk” (see below for details on overnight factors). The SFE Futures were down 90 this morning.

Wall Street closed down 213 overnight. Another high volume session. The Dow was up 14 at best and down 231 at worst. Oil fell $2.42 to $81.78, Gold increased by $8 to 1162 and the Aussie dollar fell to 91.57c from 92.76c.

In the news today…

  • Australia’s headline CPI was up by a higher-than-expected 0.9% in the March quarter, bringing the annual growth rate to 3%. Economists expected a 0.8% rise. Brokers saying that with inflation at the top of the RBA’s 2-3% threshold the RBA will have to raise rates next week.
  • Aristocrat Leisure (ALL) told their shareholders at their AGM today that the strong $A is expected to impact their profits in calendar year 2010. A 1c movement impacts their profit by $1.3m. Management say this year will be another challenging year for the business. ALL down 13c to 430c.
  • Whitehaven Coal (WHC) announced 3Q coal output up 12% and that their Narrabi mine in NSW is progressing well. Their share of saleable coal production for the quarter was 853,000 metric tons, up from 763,000 tons last year. WHC down 18c to 546c.
  • Talk of Harbinger Capital Partners cashing in on their holding in Murchison Metals (MMX) after two special crossings went through the market at 250c a share, one for 25m shares and another for 19.8m shares. MMX down 21c to 250c.
  • Street Talk says it is a matter of “when” Coca-Cola Amatil (CCL) bids for Foster’s Group (FGL) rather than “if”. CCL down 2c to 1133c.
  • CSL Ltd (CSL) up 2.5% after falling nearly 10% in the past two sessions. Concerns are that their rival Baxter will launch a price war to steal market share in the plasma market.
  • David Jones (DJS) announced Quicksilver and Roxy have agreed to supply a selection of their clothing ranges for sale in David Jones stores.  DJS down 3c to 472c.
  • ROC Oil (ROC) announced a slight fall in 1Q revenue compared to last year — down 3% to $US49.3m. Output increased 11% to 780,000 barrels of oil equivalent. ROC unchanged at 46c.
  • The AFR says Transurban Group (TCL) may have competition in the bidding for the Lane Cove Tunnel — tenders close at the end of this week. TCL down 9c to 510c
  • Super Cheap Auto Group (SUL) completed their institutional placement and raised $76.32m. SUL up 23c to 530c.

The Dow Futures were up 15 at midday.

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