The market is down 38. The SFE Futures were down 12 this morning.

Wall Street closed down 2 overnight. The Dow was up 20 at best and down 81 at worst. Stronger then expected economic figures out of China yesterday increased concerns that Chinese authorities will raise interest rates to slow down the economy. Initial and continuous claims came in better than expected. Google put on 2.4% in after hours after reporting impressive earnings numbers. Oil price lost $2.22 to $86.59, Gold price dropped another $23.70 to $1346.50 and the Aussie is below parity again at 98.71c compared to 100.05c yesterday.

Today’s main stories…

  • BC Iron (BCI) has received a 330c a share cash offer from Regent Pacific Group – a 4% premium to its last closing price. BCI’s board is expected to recommend the friendly offer that values the company at $345m. BCI up 3.4% to 328c.
  • Woodside Petroleum (WPL) – 4th Q Production Numbers – 4th Q petroleum production was down 12% on last year to 17.7m barrels of oil equivalent. Pluto is expected to start up by the end of 2014. Maintains 2011 production guidance. WPL down 16c to 4261c.
  • Aquila Resources (AQA) announced its Isaac Plains coal mine JV with Vale SA has resumed production. It has started mining, coal washing and train loading, but a return to full production rates “will take some time while dewatering of the site is completed”. AQA down 4c to 981c.
  • Crane Group (CRG) expects 1st H net profit to be up 17% on last year, with FY profit to be at least 5% higher. It will pay an interim fully franked dividend of 22c. CRG is currently subject to a hostile takeover bid from Fletcher Building. CRG down 4c to 949c.
  • Amadeus (AMU) – in a Trading Halt – says it has received an unsolicited takeover. The offer, from an unnamed bidder, was “an unsolicited, conditional proposal that may result in an offer being made for all the shares in the company”. AMU last traded at 22c.
  • Gina Rinehart has nearly doubled her stake in Fairfax Media (FXJ) last month to just under 4%. Her company Hancock Prospecting released an announcement after her TEN investment saying Hancock is “interested in making an investment towards the media business given its importance to the nation’s future”. FXJ up 0.5c to 139c.
  • Air New Zealand has upped its stake in Virgin Blue (VBA) to 14.9%. VBA says it welcomes the holding and that the investment is an endorsement on their strategy. VBA up 0.5c to 44.5c.
  • Stocks hitting 52 week highs: Envestra (ENV), RHG Ltd (RHG) and Summit Resources (SMM)

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