The market is up 22. The SFE Futures were up 35 this morning. The market has been up 39 at best.

Talk in the Financial Times of a £5bn rights issue by Standard Chartered bank has taken the shine off the market.

The Dow Jones closed up 10 overnight after recovering from an early 97 point fall. The main driver was the FOMC Minutes which hinted that the Fed are ready for another round of quantitative easing “before long”. The VIX volatility index is now below its 20-year average of 20.4 at 18.93. Gold was down $7.70 to $1346.70 while the oil price fell 54c to $81.67. The Aussie dollar rose to 98.63c from 98.40c.

Today’s main points…

  • Consumer sentiment rose 3.3% in October after a 5% fall in September after the unexpected decision by the RBA to leave interest rates at 4.5%. Jobs growth and the strengthening Aussie dollar also helped. In annual terms, the index fell a seasonally adjusted 3.6%.
  • Japanese Machinery Orders (one of their main leading economic indicators) have come in higher than expected. Nikkei up 0.7%.
  • BHP/RIO Iron Ore JV — The EU antitrust regulators will release the result of an investigation into the JV “shortly”. BHP down 0.2%, RIO up 1.26%.
  • CSL Limited (CSL) up 0.3% on its AGM statement. Reaffirms “solid” profit guidance.
  • JB Hi-Fi (JBH) down 2.22% on its AGM statement. Q1 sales are 5% behind budget. Expect discounting to continue in H2. Other retailers weak on similar themes and comments from Gerry Harvey in the AFR about the negative impact of currency on prices. BBG down 3%.
  • ERA (ERA) down 5.53% on 3rd Q production numbers and a cut in full year production guidance saying profits will be hit. Production down 35% on last year.
  • Transurban (TCL) releases revenue and traffic data for September. 1st Q proportional toll revenue was up 14.8% for the Q. TCL up 1.27%.
  • IMF Australia (IMF) has released a Company Update. IMF up 2.11%.
  • Kagara (KZL) have made an off-market cash takeover offer for Copper Strike (CSE). KZL down 1.45%. CSE up 15.8%.
  • Challenger (CGF) up 6.09% on the announcement of a 10% share buyback.
  • Fortescue Metals (FMG) in a trading halt as we write after a 6.5% rise this morning.

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