The market is down 16. The SFE Futures were down 5 this morning.
Wall Street closed down 10 overnight but was down as much as 83. The Dow ended its eight-day rally. The federal budget deficit grew $49.8bn in January, less than the $59.5bn expected. Initial claims and wholesale inventories were also better than expected. Egyptian President Mubarak said he will not stand down until September’s elections. The gold price fell $3.00 to $1362.50 while the oil price was up 2c to $86.73. The A$ fell from 101.18c to 100.41c.
Today’s main stories…
- Rio Tinto (RIO) released earnings results last night. Underlying earnings in line with expectations — Underlying earnings came in at $13.99bn, up 122% from last year, in line with analysts’ expectations of $14.1bn. They also announced a $5bn share buyback. RIO down 1.4% today to 8741c — the broker research this morning was extremely positive.
- Newcrest Mining (NCM) — increased underlying profit by 96% to $523.1m, this excludes the restructuring of hedges and costs associated with the Lihir Gold acquisition. Declared a final dividend of 10c. CEO Ian Smith will step down and be replaced with executive director Greg Robinson on July 1. NCM down 32c to 3738c.
- The ACCC has approved Fletcher Building Group’s $797m takeover of Crane Group (CRG). CRG up 3c to 945c.
- Telstra (TLS) up 5c today to 293c after Communications Minister Stephen Conroy announced that TLS and NBN Co have finalised the key commercial terms for a deal allowing NBN Co to use Telstra’s infrastructure to build the national broadband network.
- Aquarius Platinum (AQP) – H1 net profit was $94.3m, up from just $3.9m for in H1 2010 due to higher prices for precious group metals and greater output from its mines. AQP up 2% to 645c.
- Guinness Peat Group (GPG) will sell down its assets in a “strategy to realize value”. It is planning an initial capital return to shareholders of $119.4m. GPG said it would not make new investments, but would contribute capital to existing investments if that was viewed as value enhancing. The market likes the announcement — GPG up 11% to 59c.
- Gunns (GNS) has entered a trading halt pending a “a transaction which is relevant to the finalisation of the half year results release”. GNS last traded at 52c.
- RBA governor Glenn Stevens said the RBA board had the view was that while the impact of the floods on the short-term path of output and prices would be quite substantial, monetary policy should not respond to those effects. He added that “while the recovery efforts may add a little to aggregate demand over the latter part of 2011 and 2012, those effects should be manageable”.
For a free 5 day obligation FREE TRIAL of the MARCUS TODAY newsletter Click Here. You will receive our renowned and popular Daily email about the stockmarket with all the stuff you need to know ahead of the trading day including:
- Overnight developments, news, comments, rumours, broker recommendations and ideas from Marcus and his Team.
- Our Recommended Portfolio which is actively managed on behalf of subscribers.…no “set & forget”. Everything you need to effortlessly managed your own long term investment portfolio. It includes Income Portfolio recommendations.
- Daily Technical Trading ideas and data, including daily scans of the ASX 300 for stocks changing trend.
- Stock Database — all the numbers with comments on the top 300 stocks and more.
- Educational section — Marcus’s Educational and Entertaining articles.