The market is up 52. The SFE Futures were up 12 this morning.

Wall St closed up 47 overnight, extending their nearly two week rally.  Chinese economic numbers were generally encouraging with industrial production, retail sales and imports rising. US wholesale inventory numbers were better than expected. The Oil price rose $2.20 to $76.45 and Gold fell $4.40 to $1246.50. The Aussie dollar rose to 92.98c from 92.33c.

Today’s main points…

  • Good Chinese economic numbers and the Basel III statement at the weekend highlighting the capital strength of the Australian Banks relative to global banks has driven Resources and Financials today.
  • Total personal finance commitments fell 0.7% in July, seasonally adjusted, to $6.833bn. Total commercial finance rose 8.2% in July, lease finance was up 3.2% and housing finance for owner occupation rose 2.3%.
  • There are reports that private equity groups KKR and TPG are preparing offers for Foster’s Wine division. This comes after the Foster’s board rejected an opportunistic bid from Ceberus Capital Management. FGL up 0.32% to 627c.
  • The ANZ has appointed David Hisco as CEO effective immediately after Jenny Fagg announced she would step down. Mr Hisco has been with the ANZ for 30 years holding a number of senior executive roles. ANZ up 1.18% to 2399c.
  • The syndication of BHP Billiton’s (BHP) $US45bn loan facility for its hostile bid for Potash Corp was oversubscribed with strong interest from Australia’s big banks. BHP up 1.5%.
  • Following the ACCC’s rejection of the National Australia Bank’s revised takeover bid for AXA Asia Pacific (AXA), the NAB will announce “within days” whether to appeal the ACCC’s decision, sell more of AXA to IOOF or accept the ACCC’s decision and move on. NAB up 2.11% to 2519c, AXA up 0.59%.
  • Australian Infrastructure Fund (AIX) reported a 9.1% on-year increase in passenger numbers in July. Australian airports, which account for over 80% of its portfolio, were behind most of the growth. International passenger numbers rose 8.4% and domestic rose 9.5%. AIX up 1.32%.
  • Biota Holdings (BTA) up 15.7% after announcing its influenza drug Inavir was approved for manufacture and market in Japan.
  • Spark Infrastructure (SKI) says it has secured a new $250m bank loan.  The new facility will be used primarily to repay the group’s $225m debt maturity that falls due in December 2010. SKI up 0.43%.

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