The market is up 9. The SFE Futures were up 20 this morning.

Wall Street closed up 50 overnight. The S&P 500 rose 0.9% for a 2-day gain of 3.9%, the most since July 8. Positive economic figures help markets. Unemployment claims fell by a higher-than-expected figure, but remain well above the long term average. Pending home sales rose after June’s record low, while factory orders were lower than expected.

Eurozone GDP rose 1% for the fastest growth in four years. The ECB upped its GDP growth outlook but kept rates on hold at 1%. Metals were up on the LME. The oil price gained $1.11 to $75.02 and Gold was up $5.30 to $1253.40. The Aussie dollar was at 91.93c up from 91.10c yesterday morning.

Today’s main points…

  • Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) is being sued by their major shareholder Leucadia National. Leucadia is trying to prevent a dilution of royalties from a new note issue. FMG has denied the accusations and says it has not taken steps to issue further notes. FMG down 2c to 487c.
  • Eldorado Gold has approached Andean Resources (AND) with a merger proposal to create the world’s fastest growing and lowest cost gold producer. AND up 30.88% to 640c.
  • Nufarm has been placed on credit watch by Standard & Poor’s. They are concerned about its rising debt and future profitability. NUF down 2.29%.
  • Telstra (TLS) says it will sell its 50.5% shareholding in SouFun Holdings when the Chinese real estate website lists on the market later this year. SouFun filed a registration statement for an IPO with an indicative price range that values them at $889.33m – $933.25m. Telstra bought its stake for $278.88m back in 2006. TLS up 1c to 282c.
  • NGM Resources has advised shareholders to accept a takeover bid from Paladin Energy, saying it will give them a stake in a more diversified company. PDN up 0.78% to 387c..
  • Australia’s services sector increased slightly to 47.5 in August, still below the 50 point level for the fourth consecutive quarter. A below 50 reading indicates a contraction in activity.
  • Australian Treasurer Wayne Swan says he doesn’t believe the US economy will experience a double-dip recession.
  • Notable companies going ex dividend today include: Aristocrat Leisure (3.5c), Centrebet International (8c), Fairfax Media (1.4c) and West Australian Newspapers (26c).
  • Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps hits Australian cinemas on Thursday September 23.

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