The market is up 7. The SFE Futures were up 19 this morning.

Wall St closed up 28 overnight. It was the sixth rise in seven sessions. Better than expected weekly jobs numbers helped markets finish higher — the Trade Deficit fell from $US49.8bn to $42.8bn and initial unemployment claims were a bit better than expected. Next FOMC meeting is on September 21st. Oil price fell 42c to $74.25 and Gold fell $6.60 to $1250.90. The Aussie dollar crept up to 92.33c from 91.06c.

Today’s main points…

  • AMP is considering having a third crack at AXA Asia Pacific after the ACCC blocked the NAB’s $13.3bn bid yesterday. The NAB is thinking of appealing the decision but they seem more likely to pack it in and move on. AMP down 2c to 502c.
  • A day after blocking NAB’s bid for AXA, the ACCC has blocked the Virgin Blue Air New Zealand alliance. VBA down 4.6% to 41c.
  • Cockatoo Coal (COK) will expand their relationship with Japan’s Mitsui & Co. over their QLD’s Surat Basin. COK up 2c to 52c.
  • Ivanhoe Australia (IVA) has raised around $20m via a retail entitlement offer. IVA up 4c to 284c.
  • Caltex Australia (CTX) CEO Julian Segal says he “firmly believes” that a cost cutting program and organic growth will lift the company’s earnings significantly over the next two to three years. The market likes the comments — CTX up 4% to 1200c.
  • The QR National float is going ahead after the coal consortium offering $5.1bn walked away. It is expected to float later this year.
  • Talks between BHP and ArcelorMittal over merging their West African iron ore ground have broken down. BHP up 7c to 3825c.
  • China has brought forward its release of August economic indicators by two days increasing talk that its central bank may raise interest rates. It announced its 3rd straight trade surplus of more than $20bn, up from $15.7bn last year.
  • Lend Lease (LLC) has signed an agreement with Japan’s Sekisui House, on a number of apartment developments and planned community projects in Australia. LLC up 15c to 741c.
  • Stocks hitting fresh yearly highs include: AGL Energy (AGK), Austin Engineering (ANG), ARB Corp (ARP) and Wesfarmers (WES).
  • Notable stocks going ex dividend today: Boart Longyear (2.29c), Flight Centre (44c), GUD (34c), IRESS Market Technology (14c), Seek (6.7c).

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