The market is down 15 — it was up 18 early on. The SFE Futures were up 7 this morning.

Wall Street closed down 66 overnight. The Dow was up 12 at best and down 186 at worst. The S&P 500 is nearly down 10% from its 2010 high. The Dow was down for most of the session but finished strongly. Metals were mostly down on the LME, Oil price put on 17c to $72.53 but Gold was down a big $20.60 to $1194. The Aussie dollar continued to struggle falling below 85c.

In other news today…

  • Healthscope (HSP) RECEIVES IMPROVED BID – The private equity consortium has upped its bid to 575c from 550c. HSP reiterates their previous message saying shareholders should take ‘NO ACTION’ while the board consider the revised offer. HSP up 3.2% or 17c to 535c on the back of the news.
  • The Australian reported this morning that the ACCC will further delay their ruling on the BHP Billiton – Rio Tinto iron ore merger as a result of the two companies not submitting information asked of them on March 30. BHP up 24c to 3721 and RIO down 12c to 6275c.
  • Clive Peters (CPR) announced yesterday they have appointed administrators. It was only two weeks ago that CPR warned that deteriorating sales would lead to four months of operating losses. CPR had $160m in debt, $38m of which was owed to the National Australia Bank.
  • Downer EDI (DOW) announced they have secured new orders totaling more than $300m. They now have $16bn of work-in-hand. DOW up 3c to 677c.
  • Sigma Pharmaceuticals (SIP) have announced a couple of board changes and a new Chairman. They also expect improved cash in FY11 and their debt amount to be reduced. SIP unchanged at 35c.
  • Iluka Resources (ILU) says they expect only a small impact on their business as a result of the RSPT. ILU down 2c to 443c.
  • Nufarm (NUF) down another 3.5% to 604c after completing the retail component of their entitlement offer, raising around $250m.
  • Arrow Energy (AOE) announced that the Chinese Ministry Land and Resources has formally registered the reserves certificate for a section in the Liulin CSG block. AOE down 7c to 470c.
  • In economic news, the median expected inflation rate in Australia fell to 3.6% in May from 4.1% in April. It was released yesterday that Consumer Confidence fell 8.1% in March — the largest fall since October 2008.
  • Stock hitting fresh 52 week lows include: Gunns (GNS), Hutchinson (HTA), Kagara (KZL), Nufarm (NUF), Red Fork Energy (RFE), Santos (STO) and Toro Energy (TOE)

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