The market is up 8.  The SFE Futures were up 30 this morning.

The Dow Jones closed up 178 on overnight. The Dow was up 220 at best and is now back above the 12,000 level. From all reports, Japan’s nuclear crisis appears to be easing as progress is being made repairing the damaged nuclear facility. Conflict in Libya escalated with the Financial Times reporting that there is an internal conflict between US, UK and French forces. Metal price were mostly down, the oil price put on $1.26 to $102.33 and Gold increased $10.30 at $1426.40. The Aussie dollar is above parity again at 100.66c compared to 99.53c.

Today’s main stories…

  • According to the Financial Times, Rio Tinto is planning on mining for diamonds in Russia in an attempt to cash in on increased demand from China. Rumour has it that they’re in talks with Russia’s Alrosa. RIO down 1c to 8099c.
  • Mantra Resources (MRU) up 27% to 671c after Russia’s JSC Atomredmetzoloto came back with a revised bid at 702c. It was only last week that ARMZ withdraw its offer on the back of the Japanese disaster.
  • Murchison Metals (MMX) has responded to an article in The Australian by announcing that any “reference to capital estimates prior to completion of the bankable feasibility studies for the project remains premature and entirely speculative”. MMX down 3.7% to 115c.
  • BC Iron (BCI) up 3.2% to 258c after they applied to the Takeovers Panel to reinstate Regent Pacific’s terminated bid.
  • The ASX Ltd’s (ASX) merger attempt with the SGX received plenty of coverage yesterday after the AFR run with the story that it would be knocked back by the federal government. The Australian today says the deal needs “major surgery to avoid certain political death”. SGX’s CEO Magnus Bocker told the paper that it would be very difficult to make further changes to please stakeholder without upsetting others. ASX up 26c to 3444c.
  • Brokers remain positive on APN News & Media (APN) even though they announced a profit downgrade yesterday. Credit Suisse maintain their Outperform recommendation and RBS says Buy. APN breaking even today at 154c.
  • Warren Buffet told the South Korean President that the US economy is improving in all areas except for the housing market.
  • TPG Telecom (TPM) up 7% to 145.5c after upgrading their guidance and saying that their margins are improving. They announced a $33.8m profit, up 23% of last year.
  • Imdex Ltd (IMD) has completed their acquisition of Mud-Data. IMD down 5c to 199c.
  • Companies going ex dividend today include: A.P Eagers (41c), Kathmandu (2.2c) and Vita Life (0.5c).

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