The market is up 17. The SFE Futures were down 19 this morning. Doing remarkably well thanks to a bid for AXA from AMP and a CBA Trading update which is OK.

The Dow Jones closed down 90 on Friday for its worst day in 3 weeks. It was down 2.2% last week — the worst week this financial year so far. Concerns about Chinese policy tightening and Eurozone debt issues doing the damage on Friday night with talk that Ireland needs a bailout. Gold fell $37.810 to $1365.50 and oil was down $2.93. The US dollar rose as the euro fell on speculation Ireland will need a financial bailout. The A$ fell to 98.80c, from 99.73c.

Today’s main points…

  • AMP Ltd (AMP) has launched a bid for AXA Asia Pacific (AXA). The offer of at least 643c a share is expected to be approved by AXA’s board this week. Both in trading halt.
  • BHP Billiton (BHP) up 0.29% on news it will abandon plans to bid for Potash and will return $US4.2bn to shareholders by reinstating its previously suspended buy back program.
  • Brambles (BXB) up 5.9% after announcing it will buy IFCO Systems for around $US1.26bn to lift its presence in both Europe and the US. Expects the deal to be earnings accretive by 5% for the 2011 financial year. It will funded with 50% equity and 50% debt. BXB reiterated FY EBIT in the range of $US740m-$US780m.
  • James Hardie (JHX) announced a 1st H net loss of $US318.8m after a $345m non cash item. It nearly triples the $US97.5m loss last year. No interim dividend. Says US housing market outlook remains uncertain. High unemployment, low consumer confidence and falling house prices all contributed to the poor result. JHX down 1.42%.
  • Commonwealth Bank (CBA) — 1st Q Trading Update — Unaudited cash earnings for the 1st Q came in at around $1.6bn, in line. CBA up 1.1%.
  • Incitec Pivot (IPL) announced a FY net profit of $410.5m and a final dividend of 6c a share. Sales fell 14% to $2.93bn. Expects mixed market conditions in 2011 with the US market to continue to be challenging in the short term. IPL down 1.28%.
  • OneSteel (OST) acquires Moly-Cop and AltaSteel businesses from Anglo American for what equates to an enterprise value of US$932m. Expects the acquisition to be EPS accretive immediately and will be funded via a committed bridge facility of $US500m. OST down 2.55%.
  • The AFR says KKR isn’t the only private equity group interested in acquiring Perpetual (PPT). PPT up 1.1 4%.
  • Elders (ELD) down 0.81% on results. Made a loss.

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