The market is down 78. The SFE Futures were down 93 this morning.

Wall St. closed down 268 overnight. The S&P 500 hit an eight month low. The Dow closed under 10,000 for the first time since June 9 and was down 3 at best and down 327 at worst overnight.

The Chinese market fell 4.3% yesterday after the US Conference Board revised their leading economic index for China to a 0.3% gain, less than the 1.7% gain it reported on June 15. Citibank wrote some research on China saying it faced strong headwinds. US bank analyst Meredith Whitney, credited with predicting (starting) the GFC, says the US sharemarket is certain to double dip. US stocks exposed to China got thumped. The VIX jumped 18%. Baltic Dry index down 13% in a week. The costs of insuring European bonds at record highs. Metals down 5-7%. Oil fell $2.31 to $75.94, Gold put on $3.80 to $1242.40 and the Aussie dollar destroyed in one night to 84.85c from 87.17c.

It is pretty quiet on the company news front today…the overall performance of the market is dominating the headlines.

  • Front page of the AFR says Resources Minister Martin Ferguson and Wayne Swan want support from miners for a compromise on the RSPT. The Gillard government appear keen to tie up a deal as soon as possible and announce an election immediately.
  • Downer EDI (DOW) in the news again this morning. DOW fell another 6.3% yesterday and is down another 7c to 367c on concerns that leaked emails issues could only be the tip of the iceberg. They announced this morning they have sold their 49% stake in MB Century Drilling to Mohamed Al Barwani Holdings Company.
  • Rio Tinto (RIO) announced they will exercise warrants to buy $393m worth of shares in Ivanhoe Mines and lift their stake to 30%. The warrants entitle RIO to buy 46m shares at 854c a share. They could take their stake to 44% if they exercise all their warrants and convert a $350m load into shares. RIO down 3.17% to 6625c.
  • Qantas (QAN) announce passenger numbers in May increased by 5.6% but yields, which is a key profitability measure, continued to go backwards. QAN down 3c to 220c.
  • QBE Insurance (QBE) has issued $US500m lower tier-two notes through a private placement to refinance debt maturing in August. QBE down 25c to 1805c.
  • A heap of economic data is out today. Australian Job Vacancies fell 2.8% in seasonally adjusted terms in the previous quarter, Australian Home Sales fell 6.4% in May from April and credit to the private sector increased to a seasonally adjusted 0.5% in May from April.
  • Stocks hitting fresh 52 week lows include: 36 of them — notables include ASX Ltd (ASX), AWE Ltd (AWE), Brambles (BXB), Downer EDI (DOW), Primary Health Care (PRY), QBE Insurance (QBE) and Sims Metal Management (SGM).

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