The market is down 64. The SFE Futures were down 36 this morning.

The Dow Jones closed down 165 overnight, its largest fall in two months and the first time it closed below 11,000 in a week. Concerns about banks having to buyback US$107bn of securitized mortgages not helping. Housing starts beat estimates, but building permits declined more than expected in September. China raised interest rates for the first time in three years causing a rally in the US$ and a sell-off in commodities. Gold fell $36.10 and the oil price lost $3.59 to $79.49. The US dollar rose — the AUD has “peaked at parity”, now 97.08c.

Today’s main points…

  • The Westpac-Melbourne Institute leading index was up an annualised 5.3% in August, the fifth monthly slowdown on the trot from 6.8% in July.
  • The Future Fund has sold 113m Telstra shares in the past three weeks at an average price 266c. The recent record low was 262c and it has made a new record low of 258c today. They sold down from 10.9% to 10.0% so only have another 1.24 billion or so shares to sell. TLS down 1.5% to 261c.
  • Woolworths (WOW) are down 0.9% this morning after “solid” 1st Q sales numbers. See below.
  • BHP’s 3rd Q Production numbers are good but not enough to hold it up against the tide this morning. Down 1.34%.
  • Packer buys 16% of the Ten Network (TEN) at 150c against the 141c share price.  TEN up 7% to 151c. It is down from its recent high of 189c.
  • Origin (ORG) down 2.7% and Santos (STO) down 2.2% after Origin shuts 18 coal seam gas wells as a precaution after cancer causing chemicals were found in the water used by some of the wells … an issue you assume they will master with $20bn of project investment on the line in QLD.
  • Paladin Energy (PDN) has confirmed that the conditions for its takeover bid for NGM Resources have been fulfilled. MAP down 1.26%.
  • Tabcorp (TAH) Institutional shareholders took up 95% of their entitlement, or about $220m, as part of TAH’s $430m capital raising. Retail investors will receive offer documents Monday.
  • Rio Tinto (RIO) will invest $3.1bn to expand its port and rail infrastructure in the Pilbara but further investment will be required for mine and housing expansions. RIO down 2.55%.
  • Aurora Oil & Gas (AUT) has announced a $70m equity raising to fund accelerated drilling costs and potential further acreage acquisitions at its Eagle Ford shale in Texas. AUT down 8.57%.
  • Kingsgate Consolidated (KCN) and Dominion Mining (DOM) have been placed in trading halts pending an announcement about a takeover transaction.

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