The market is up 12. The SFE Futures were down 44 this morning.

Wall Street fell 112 overnight. The Dow was up 82 at best and down 123 at worst. The Dow was up until the last hour of trade when it then lost 120 points. A quarter of the index fall was thanks to the energy sector down 4.3% after the Obama administration approved a six month ban on drilling exploratory oil and gas wells in the Gulf of Mexico. The oil price fell 53c to $73.97, Gold put on $11.90 to $1226.90 and the Aussie dollar fell to 83.24c from 84.50c.

The market hit a low of 4175 intraday on the 21st May taking it the ASX 200 down 16.9% from the top on April 15th. It has since bounced 5.46%.

In other news today…

  • The RBA left interest rates unchanged yesterday … inflation is now at the top of their 2-3% band and appears to be their main concern. Most brokers think rates will remain on hold until after the June Q CPI number is released in July and the RBA have had the chance to assess the inflation risk.
  • PROFIT WARNING FROM IAG Insurance Australia Group (IAG) has cut their insurance margin guidance. They expect to recognize a one-off pre-tax charge of around $365m and a FY10 insurance margin of 6-7%, down from previous guidance of 9.5%-11%. They blame UL claims experience. IAG is down 5.82% to 340c.
  • QBE Insurance (QBE) getting belted today on concerns that they may be liable for some of the clean up costs of BP’s oil spill. QBE down 2.61% to 1869c.
  • Downer (DOW) has rebounded 7.6% to 493c after falling 27% yesterday after they cut their FY10 NPAT guidance to breakeven from $200m on the back of provisions against the Waratah train project. DOW held their investor day this morning and released a 71 page presentation. They were downgraded by most brokers overnight.
  • US based Tenet Healthcare have joined the $1.8bn bidding war for Healthscope (HSP), this is despite the company already having a gearing level of 82% and a market cap of $3.4bn. Talk is that the other bidder is KKR. One analyst says the takeover price could eventually hit $7 a share. HSP down 4c to 553c.
  • James Packer has bought a 4.5% stake in Photon Group (PGA) through several private companies. PGA up 2.5c to 95.5c.
  • One broker says with ANZ Bank (ANZ) looking to expand in Asia, the “end game may be a merger with Standard Chartered”. They argue a combined entity would have exposure to emerging markets. ANZ down 18c to 2212c.
  • Australia’s GDP increased by a higher-than-expected +0.5% in the 1Q of 2010 and increased 2.7% in the last 12 months. Economists on average expected a figure of +0.4% for the quarter. The ABS also revised 4Q GDP growth to 1.1% from 0.9%.
  • Stocks hitting fresh 52 week highs include: Eldorado Gold (EAU), Ausenco (AAX), Geodynamics (GDY) and Neptune Marine (NMS).

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