The market is up 9. The SFE Futures were down 1 this morning.

US markets were closed for the Labor Day holiday. The MSCI World Index reached a four-week high and is now up 5% in September. European markets were marginally up following Asian markets higher. Metals were up on the LME. The Aussie dollar rose to 91.69c from $91.59.

Today’s main points…

  • The Reserve Bank of Australia’s monthly interest rate decision is due at 2.30pm. All economists expect interest rates to remain unchanged.
  • Politics — The three independents have scheduled a press conference for 2.00pm to announce whether they support Labor or the Coalition to form a minority government.
  • Leighton Holdings (LEI) is expected to announce the successor to Wal King post his resignation. Either David Savage or David Saxelby expected to get the gig (both internal appointments). LEI up 27c to 3244c.
  • Willmott Forests (WFL) has followed fellow managed investment scheme operators Great Southern Plantation and Timbercorp into receivership. Commonwealth Bank and St George withdrew their support yesterday. Thought to be owing the banks $120m. It had a 45.7m market cap before the announcement.
  • Woolworths (WOW) plans to sell around $900m of their shopping centres and development projects and lease them back. WOW up 12c to 2891c.
  • ConnectEast Group (CEU) says revenue on Melbourne’s Eastlink toll road was up by 15.8% in August and the average number of daily trips increased 12.7%. CEU unchanged.
  • § In an attempt to attract international institutional investors St Barbara Limited (SBM) has proposed to consolidate it’s more than 1.95bn shares on issue to 326m shares. They have three times as many shares as RIO. Consolidations are theoretically irrelevant but in practice a sign of a weakness. SBM down 5.26%.
  • AWB Ltd (AWB) says drought in Russia and weather damage in Europe has helped lift interest in Australian wheat. AWB unchanged.
  • The construction sector contracted in August on weak customer demand and a decline in home building. The Performance of Construction Index fell to 43.2 in August, well below the 50-points separating contraction from expansion and home-building fell to its lowest level in 16 months.

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