The market is up 8. The SFE Futures were up 3 this morning.

Wall Street closed up 48 overnight at 11,477 — its highest level since September 2008. The Fed left interest rates on hold at 0.25% and said it will maintain the pace of its $600bn Treasury bond-buying program. The 10-year T-bond rose to its highest level since May. The oil price fell 33c to $88.28 and Gold was up $6.30 to $1404.30. The $A again reached parity before dipping to 99.91c.

Today’s main points…

  • The ACCC will not oppose the $8.4bn acquisition of the ASX Ltd (ASX) by the Singapore Stock Exchange. The acquisition still requires approval from the FIRB, the Australian Federal parliament and from shareholders. ASX up 0.5%.
  • Billabong International (BBG) downgraded its profit guidance. It now expects FY net profit to be flat and H1 profit to fall 8-13%, or by 25% in constant currency terms. BBG down 8.2%.
  • Rio Tinto (RIO) wants to invest $758m in its Canadian aluminum smelters to improve efficiency. It will also invest a further $300m for further construction in preparation for the $2.5bn modernisation of the Kitimat smelter in British Columbia. RIO down 0.5%.
  • Fletcher Building is seeking to acquire all the ordinary shares of Crane Group (CRG) that it does not already own. CRG up 19.4%.
  • Westpac (WBC) warned at its AGM today that legacies from the GFC will remain for “some considerable time”. WBC up 0.7%.
  • Envestra (ENV) and Transfield Services Infrastructure Fund (TSI) will be involved in corporate activity in 2011 says RBS. APA Group makes a logical bidder for ENV, as it can integrate ENV into their unlisted energy fund. TSI is looking to sell its 14% stake in the Loy Yang A power station. ENV down 1%, TSI up 2.4%.
  • Origin Energy (ORG) will pay $2.3bn for Integral Energy and Country Energy retail businesses and $950m for the Eraring GenTrader arrangements, totaling $3.25bn. ORG is now Australia’s largest energy retailer. ORG up 1.9%.
  • Perpetual (PPT) says funds under management fell slightly to $27.3bn in Nov from $27.6bn in Oct. PPT up 0.4%.
  • Canada’s Agrium is in discussions to sell the AWB’s commodity management business. Agrium agreed last month to take over AWB Ltd for $1.24bn. AWB unchanged at 141.5c.
  • CSR Ltd (CSR) has extended the cut-off date for the Sucrogen sale to Wilmar to Jan 31, 2011 from Dec 31. Says either party has until the cut off date to terminate the deal if conditions are unsatisfied. CSR up 0.9%.
  • Navitas (NVT) has completed its $100m institutional placement at 380c a share. NVT down 4.8%.
  • Arafura Resources (ARU) has completed its $90m capital raising. ARU unchanged at 120c.

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