The market is down 60. The SFE Futures were down 45 this morning.
Wall Street closed down 148 overnight. The Dow was up 51 at best and down 159 at worst. The S&P 500 dropped under its 200 day moving average. It was the biggest fall in three weeks. A disappointing 2.2% drop in Existing US home sales dented hopes for a US housing market recovery. The UK government announced an emergency budget ahead of Saturday’s G20 meeting. The oil price fell 71c to $77.11, Gold put on 20c to $1240.90 and the Aussie dollar fell to 8713c compared to 8761c yesterday morning.
In other news today…
- Sundance Resources (SDL) shares are in voluntary suspension pending an announcement on operations and governance matters. SDL last traded at 13c. They are appointing new management.
- Kerry Stokes’ Seven Group (SVW) confirmed reports from The Wall Street Journal that they are looking to take a cornerstone stake in the IPO of the Agricultural Bank of China for around $US100m-$US250m. SVW down 2c to 614c.
- Suncorp-Metway (SUN) will aim to double their new life insurance business over the next three years while managing their cost structures. CEO Geoff Summerhayes told a UBS conference that he is aiming for double-digit in-force premium growth. He added that their strategy is on track and it has “made excellent progress”. SUN down 10c to 832c.
- Rio Tinto (RIO) says that although they remain cautious in the short term, aluminum markets will continue to recover thanks to strong long term fundamentals. They predict long term demand to grow by between 4-5% a year over the next 20 years. RIO down 1.61% to 7095c.
- Pharmaxis (PXS) down 36.7% to 197.5c after releasing clinical trial results for their cystic fibrosis drug Bronchitol. Results showed the drug narrowly failed to improve lung function compared to the placebo.
- Perpetual (PPT) CEO David Deverall has resigned for personal reasons, but will stay with the company until a replacement is found. PPT reaffirmed their guidance for underlying after-tax profit of $65-$75m and a net profit of $85m-$95m. PPT down 12c to 3028c.
- Woodside Petroleum (WPL) announced they are targeting first LNG from the Pluto LNG Project in early 2011 despite industrial action taken by 12 Mammoet crane drivers and telescopic forklift operators in support of claims for increased pay and conditions.
- Leighton Holdings (LEI) — Wal King put out an open briefing yesterday which reiterated some ambitious 5 years earnings and revenue targets and restated current earnings forecasts. Just in case you were thinking of selling LEI to buy the Valemus IPO.
Stocks hitting fresh 52 week lows include: Elders (ELD), Pharmaxis (PXS), Downer EDI (DOW).
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