The market is up 35. The SFE Futures were up 33 this morning.
The Dow Jones closed up 57 on Friday. It was up as much as 100 and hit its highest level in close to 3 years intraday. Jobs numbers were better than expected in March — the unemployment rate fell to a two-year low of 8.8%. The oil price gained $1.22 to $107.94, a 30-month high, and the gold price fell $11 to $1428.90. The A$ rose to 103.92c and was above 104c overnight.
Today’s main stories…
- Equinox Minerals (EQN) has received all cash offer at C$ 700c (A$ 701c) from China’s Minmetals Resources. Minmetals says the deal offers EQN shareholders a “superior alternative” to EQN’s proposed acquisition of Lundin Mining. EQN up 27.3%. Other copper stocks jumping as well including OZL, PNA, JML, KZL, ABY, TGS, IRN, EXS.
- Cellestis (CST) up 15.3% on a takeover bid from Qiagen for 355c a share that is unanimously recommended by the board.
- QR National (QRN) expects 600 voluntary redundancies next week and an additional 60 by the end of the FY. The company said the cost of the redundancies to EBIT would be $50m, providing payback within 11 months and the total cash cost will be $75m. Following the redundancies the company expects to develop a proposal to restructure its operations. QRN up 1.2% to 346c.
- Mount Gibson Iron (MGX) has terminated an agreement with Chinese steel manufacturer Shougang for the sale of 80% of life of mine production from the Extension Hill mine. MGX up 2.0%.
- Galaxy Resources (GXY) announced a potential new exploration target area at its 100%-owned Ponton Rare Earths Project in the eastern Goldfields region of WA. GXY up 5.1%.
- Atlas Iron (AGO) says it is on track to export 1.5 mt of ore in the June quarter, after it shipped a record 1.39 mt in the March quarter. The result reflects strong sales volumes, higher iron ore prices and reduced operating costs relative to the H1 2010. AGO up 2.4%.
- Downer EDI (DOW) says it has won a $60m contract with OneSteel (OST) to construct an iron ore beneficiation plant in Iron Baron, South Australia. CEO Grant Fenn said, “This contract highlights Downer’s ability to provide customers with a broad capability for their critical infrastructure needs”. DOW down 1.3% to 372c.
- JB Hi-Fi (JBH) chairman Patrick Elliott said that despite the full year profit downgrade announced last week they are still looking at a record full year result and would continue to open 13 to 15 stores each year for the next 3-5 years. JBH up 2.9%.
- Southern Cross Media (SXL) may push ahead with a $475m rights issue as soon as next week as part of its takeover of Austereo Group (AEO). SXL unchanged at 169c, AEO unchanged at 210c.
- Treasurer Wayne Swan said recent natural disasters will likely cost the economy around $9 billion after the government raised estimates on losses in the coal industry by 20%.
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