The market is down 30. The SFE Futures were down 10 this morning.

The Dow Jones closed down 1 overnight for its first loss in five sessions. Financial stocks fell 1.8% (Banks down 2.6%) as JP Morgan set aside $1.3bn of additional litigation reserves to cover against the foreclosure scandal leaving open the prospect that other banks will have to do the same. Initial claims rose by more than expected. Gold was up $7.10 to $1377.60 and the oil price fell 32c. The Aussie dollar has pulled back from a high of 99.93c overnight to 99.01c now.

Today’s main points…

  • Commonwealth Bank CEO Ralph Norris agrees that interest rates could be increased regardless of what the RBA’s next move is. CBA down 0.35%.
  • A Wall Street Journal article points out that in the 1990s, it was Ben Bernanke, then a Princeton professor, who lectured Japanese officials about needing more quantitative easing (QE). He told them that to rescue the Japanese economy they would have to undertake significantly more QE and leave interest rates at close to 0%.
  • Rio Tinto (RIO) released its production numbers yesterday afternoon. Numbers looked good. RIO up 0.16%.
  • Fortescue Metals (FMG) also released production numbers which were better than expected. Talk of Andrew Forrest becoming a non-executive director. Up 36% in four weeks having peaked at 666c yesterday. FMG down 0.47%.
  • Centro Retail Group (CER) has closed out 74% of its equity hedge with Centro Properties. CER up 3.13%.
  • Boart Longyear (BLY) received a speeding ticket from the ASX. They are not aware why the share price is up 11% this week. BLY down 2.98%.
  • Santos (STO) has increased its funding raised through European hybrid markets to EUR1bn. The follow-on hybrid was issued at an implied yield of around 8.05%. STO up 0.47%.
  • Northern Iron (NFE) – trading halt lifted – –has completed its institutional bookbuild. NFE down 10.56%.
  • Coalspur (CPL) has successfully completed their strategic and institutional placement. CPL down 2.75%.
  • Cockatoo Coal (COK) has raised $112.7m via the institutional component of its capital raising. COK down 0.93%.
  • ARB Corp (ARP) held its AGM and provided a 1st Q trading update saying sales were ahead on last year and that the stronger $A had its advantages and disadvantages. Macquarie maintain their OUTPERFORM recommendation and 760c target. ARP unchanged.

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