The market is down 60. The SFE Futures were down 20 this morning.

The Dow Jones closed up 1 overnight. Dow up 64 at best and down 27 at worst. The S&P 500 closed down for the third straight session. The International Monetary Fund cut their economic growth forecasts for Australia, the US and Japan. The oil price fell 2.5% on Libyan negotiations and Gold lost $6. Alcoa fell 3% in the US in after hours trading after failing to inspire with their season opening Q1 profit result. Metal prices little changed and the Aussie dollar took a breather – now at 104.96c.

Today’s main stories…

  • Alumina (AWC) down 3% to 261c after their JV partner Alcoa announced uninspiring earnings results in the US this morning after market. Earnings in line but revenue came in slightly below expectations. One broker maintains their Neutral recommendation on AWC and 260c target price. AWC down 3.7% to 259c.
  • Fortescue Metals (FMG) announced they shipped 8.4m tonnes of iron ore, down 16% from the previous quarter due to the rain. FMG down 1.6% to 668c.
  • Iluka Resources (ILU) reported its Q1 2011 revenue “beat or exceeded expectations”. Revenue was up 51% to $226.3m in first quarter of 2011, from the first three months of 2010 as prices for its products surged on demand from emerging markets.  ILU down 2.2% to 1378c.
  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) downgraded their Australian GDP forecast to just 3% this year, 0.5% lower than they predicted 6 months ago, with 3.5% forecast in 2012.
  • Transurban Group (TCL) up 9c to 532c after they reported double digit growth in revenue for the March Q.
  • George Soros said yesterday that China’ decision to keep its currency weak has resulted in their government losing control of inflation and they have missed the opportunity to revalue the yuan.
  • Woodside – Everyone is trying to work out whether BHP’s statement yesterday about BHP not being aware of any basis for the speculation about a bid for Woodside now precludes BHP from bidding or buying the stake in WPL from Shell. The conclusion is that BHP can probably still do what it likes (bid for WPL tomorrow if it wants … and/or buy the Shell stake) without breaching any takeover rules. But the more likely reality is that BHP are not about to do anything imminently. WPL down 2.35% today.
  • BHP — Quite a bit of activity on the desks today as back office systems confirm the number of shares clients have sold into the BHP buyback with many clients choosing to buy those back in the market. Isn’t helping much. BHP down 81c or 1.6% to 4875c.

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