The market is down 5. The SFE Futures were up 11 this morning.

Wall Street closed up 41 overnight at 11,499 — its highest close since September 2008. The Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing index was better than expected. Homebuilding rebounded from last month’s lows and initial unemployment claims fell by more than expected. The gold price fell $15.20 to $1371 and the oil price was down 92c to $87.70. The $A gained to 99.01c from 98.63c.

Today’s main points…

  • Santos (STO) — in a trading halt — an announcement on Korea Gas Corp taking a 15% stake in STO’s Gladstone LNG project is expected and that it will buy 3.5t of LNG a year for 20 years. STO last traded at 1297c.
  • Hastings Diversified Utilities Funds (HDF) has sold its stake in South East Water to Canadian based CDPQ for $206m. HDF up 6.9%.
  • Hills Industries (HIL) expects 1st H net profit to be around 30% lower than last year. HIL down 12%.
  • Despite The Australian saying it’s a done deal — Lend Lease (LLC) says no agreement with Bilfinger Berger had been reached for their construction unit Valemus. LLC says there is no certainty a transaction will occur. LLC down 2.4%.
  • UGL Ltd (UGL) has won $270m worth of infrastructure projects. UGL up 1.1%.
  • RBS has cut Crane Group to Sell from Hold after it was bid for by NZ’s Fletcher Building. CRG board has told shareholders to take “No Action”.
  • The 9-day wage dispute strike with BHP Billiton workers at an aluminium smelter in South Africa has ended. BHP down 16c to 4522c.
  • Stockland Group (SGP) expects to announce a 11.5c distribution for the 6 months to Dec 31. SGP down 0.5%.
  • Ratings agency Moody’s Investors Services put Spain on watch for a possible credit rating downgrade but did say it viewed Spain “as a much stronger credit than other stressed euro zone countries”.
  • Executives at Goldman Sachs Group will receive around $US111.3m in shares next month despite Wall Street lowering its bonus pool next month. CEO Llyod Blankfein will receive a $US24m payout.
  • The RBA and APRA said it will help Aussie banks comply with new regulatory requirements that will take effect gradually over the next 8 years by offering a secured liquidity facility.
  • This is the last edition of PS Today for 2010. We will be retuning on the 17th January 2011.

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