The market is up 1. The SFE Futures were up 4 this morning.

Wall Street closed up 19 on Friday. It was up 290 for the week — its best weekly run in over a year. Nonfarm payrolls disappointed coming in well below expectations. The unemployment rate rose to 9.8%, the highest since April. The oil price was up $1.19 at $89.19 per barrel — a 25-month high. Gold was up $16.90 to $1406.20. Metals down. The A$ is back up to 99.08c from 97.60c as the US dollar index fell 1.4%.

Today’s main points…

  • Riversdale Mining (RIV) reply to press rumours by saying Rio Tinto (RIO) has held talks with RIV on a $3.5 billion takeover proposal. RIV up 12.13%.
  • Beach Petroleum (BPT) has improved its takeover offer for Impress Energy (ITC) by around 3% and declared it unconditional. It is now offering 8.5c per ITC share, up from 8.25c, valuing the company at $75.3m.
  • The ASX and SGX will wait for the ACCC to make its ruling on their proposed merger — due on January 27 — before submitting their merger application to the FIRB. ASX up 0.16%.
  • Rumours of Primary Health Care (PRY) being bid for by private equity. KKR is the likely bidder having missed out on Healthscope earlier in the year. PRY up 1.78%.
  • Mirabela Nickel (MBN) — Production Update — Says it is on track to achieve, or exceed, 2010 FY production guidance. Share price breaks an eight month downtrend. MBN up 5.65%.
  • GWA Group (GWA) has acquired Gliderol Garage Doors for $42m. GWA up 4c to 299c.
  • Sigma Pharmaceuticals (SIP) says it will lose 10-15% of its wholesaling revenues from February 2011 after Pfizer decided to distribute its prescription medications directly to chemists. SIP down 9.2%.
  • GrainCorp (GNC) says its harvest is delayed by rains which will also limit grains received from farmers who are now likely to hold wheat on farm rather than in GNC silos. GNC down 3.34%.
  • Newcrest Mining (NCM) is closely monitoring the situation in the Ivory Coast and has measures in place to ensure employee safety. Says the Bonikro Mine Operations were temporarily suspended on the weekend due to the current tense election. NCM up 0.61%.
  • The TD Securities Melbourne Institute Monthly Inflation Gauge rose by 0.4% in November — to an annualised rate of 3.0%.
  • The number of jobs ads rose for the seventh straight month, up 2.9% in November, according to an ANZ report.
  • The RBA makes it decision on interest rates tomorrow — most economists expect the rate to remain unchanged after the recent RBA minutes suggested the last rate rise was pre-emptive.

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