Good start to the week — up 52. The SFE Futures were up 58 this morning.

Wall Street closed up 125. Dow up 131 at best and down 149 at worst. At its low the Dow was below the low hit during the “Flash Crash” two weeks ago. Both oil and gold fell 1.13% and 1.05% respectively. Metals were mostly up on the LME and the Aussie dollar recovered some of its losses from last week hitting 82.98c from 81.14c.

In other news today…

  • Healthscope (HSP) announced they have granted the private equity consortium bidding 575c a share for the company access to the business to facilitate due diligence. HSP up 1c to 525c.
  • Sigma Pharmaceuticals (SIP) has revealed that Aspen Pharmacare Holdings, a South African listed company, was the bidder making an approach last week. They are offering 60c a share, valuing the company at $707m. SIP up 0.5c to 48.5c.
  • The AFR has written up the old Foster’s Group (FGL) takeover story after the Aussie dollar lost 10c in the past week. FGL now has a market cap of $9.9bn and with several brokers valuing their beer business between $10bn and $12bn; it would result in a bidder obtaining the wine division for free. FGL up 7c to 521c.
  • Primary Health Care (PRY) announced another earnings downgrade after the close of market on Friday. Total EBITDA for FY 2011 is expected to be between $360m-$380m. PRY down 8c to 374c.
  • Transurban (TCL) has released a letter to security holders justifying their decision to reject an improved takeover offer from two Canadian shareholders and expects robust growth in distributions in the next 3-5 years. TCL down 1c to 437c.
  • According to The Age, the National Australia Bank (NAB) is considering the divestment of  AXA Asia Pacific Holdings (AXA) North platform to satisfy the ACCC’s concerns, but that still may not be enough for the regulator. NAB up 1.7% to 2418c.
  • Citadel Resource Group (CGG) up 11% after Saudi Arabia grants license for CGG’s 50% owned Jabal Sayid copper/gold project to go ahead. CGG will immediately begin developing the US$280m project. CGG up 11.2% to 34.5c.
  • Gunns (GNS) has entered into an agreement to sell their Hardware Retail business to Blue Mountains Hardware for $40m. GNS up 0.5c to 35.5c.
  • A1 Minerals (AAM) up 22% to 22.5c this morning on the back of news that plant commissioning has completed at their Brightstar gold project and production has started.
  • Stocks hitting fresh 52 week lows include: Nufarm (NUF) – now down 19.8% in the past 30 days and down 50.6% in the past year, compared to the 15.1% rise in the ASX 200 in the past 12 months.