The market is down 14. The SFE Futures were up 6 this morning.

Wall Street closed up 4. The Dow was up 24 at best and down 72 at worst. The S&P 500 closed slightly down. BP has agreed to put $US20bn into a fund for victims of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The Oil price hit a 6 week high — up 73c to $77.67. PPI numbers fell 0.3% … third drop in four months. Gold fell $3.90 to $1230.50. The Aussie went up — now at 8648c compared to 85.86c yesterday.

In other news today…

  • QBE Insurance (QBE) released their Investor Update in London overnight. In a nutshell they expect 2010 to be another tough year for insurers and left their key profitability measure unchanged. Margins will be squeezed by low interest yields and they predict higher-than-normal large claim losses. QBE up 5c to 1900c.
  • Macquarie Atlas Roads (MQA) up 16% to 91.5c after announcing their partly owned Eiffarie SAS has agreed to acquire a further 13.7% stake in French highways and toll roads builder and operate Autoroutes Paris-Rhin-Rhone for EUR853.7m.
  • Talk is that Sigma Pharmaceuticals’ (SIP) new CEO will back his ability to turn around the company and reject the $707m takeover offer from Aspen Pharmacare. Not exactly music to the ears of those hedge funds and short term traders who bought the stock as a short term takeover play. SIP up 5% to 52c.
  • Leighton Holdings (LEI) has been awarded two contracts worth $1.51bn combined. LEI up 4% to 3359c.
  • Stockland (SPG) expects to pay a 2nd half dividend of 10.8c, taking the FY dividend to 21.6c per share. SGP up 2c to 404c.
  • RIO and BHP have agreed to a quarterly 23% rise in iron ore prices with Japanese steelmakers. It represents an annual increase of around 140% from 2009 prices. BHP down 36c to 3887c and RIO down 77c to 7057c.
  • Antares Energy (AZZ) up 6.25% first thing to 59.5c after raising $12.3m in the US overnight at a price above their current share price. Patersons has a 121c target price.
  • Neptune Mining (NMS) has appointed four new executives. NMS down 2% to 25c.
  • Perpetual (PPT) said FUM fell in May to $27.5bn from $29bn. PPT down 1.3% to 3129c.
  • There are only 13 stocks in the ASX 100 in short, medium and long term uptrend. They include Telstra, Westfield, Fosters, Lihir, Cochlear, CFX, DXS, Paladin, CSR, Iluka, CPA, Ansell, Ramsay Healthcare, Adelaide Brighton, Riversdale Mining.Stocks hitting fresh 52 week highs include: ARB Corp (ARP), CBH Resources (CBH) and White Energy Coal (WEC).

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