The market is down 61. The SFE Futures were down 46 this morning.

The Dow Jones closed down 140 overnight.  It was its biggest fall in a month and was down as much as 248 at one stage. It was Standard & Poor’s downgrade of US debt that spooked markets and concerns that Greece is on the verge of defaulting. Negotiations also began on Portugal’s bailout. Metals closed down overnight, the oil price dropped $2.54 to $107.12 and Gold put on $6.90 to $1492.90. The Aussie dollar dropped to 104.94c from 105.66c. The VIX volatility index jumped 18%.

Today’s main stories…

  • Woodside Petroleum (WPL) — Quarterly Production Numbers — Output fell 12% (in line with expectations) due to higher than normal cyclone activity. Production was also down 19% on last year. Expects underlying production in calendar 2011 to be 63 to 66 mmboe. They also said it will be hard to recover a 4 week delay to the construction timetable of their $14bn Pluto LNG project caused by bad weather. WPL down 60c to 4617c.
  • Newcrest Mining (NCM) — Quarterly Production Numbers — Gold production fell 16% from the previous quarter. They have downgraded their FY gold production guidance to 2.82m from 2.85n-2.95m.  Third Q cash costs also increased to $497 an ounce from $440. NCM down 2.3% to 4020c.
  • Origin Energy (ORI) has sold $1.17bn of new shares to retail shareholders as part of their $2.3bn equity raising announced in March. They said 79% of the offered shares were taken up under the retail offer. ORI down 1% to 1676c.
  • Leighton Holdings (LEI) has won an $US586m, 6 year mining services contract at a diamond mine in Botswana. LEI down 2% to 2413c.
  • Standard & Poor’s has raised their long term corporate credit rating on Rio Tinto (RIO) to A- from BBB+. They also affirmed RIO’s A-2 short term corporate credit rating. RIO down 2% to 8246c.
  • Beach Energy (BPT) has finalised an agreement to take a 22% stake in Abu Sennan oil block in Eqypt. BPT down 2% to 97.5c.
  • Mixed bag of opinion on Woolworths (WOW) following the release of their quarterly sales numbers. The stock put on 1% yesterday but is down 0.5% today. Most analysts’ have a Hold recommendation arguing Wesfarmers (WES) is continuing to make up some serious ground on them.
  • Perpetual (PPT) announces their funds under management have fallen slightly on last month to $28.2bn from $28.3bn. PPT down 1.27% to 2869c.
  • OM Holdings (OMH) is in a trading halt pending action in the Federal Court by a shareholder over resolutions. Last traded at 134.5c.

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