The market is up 18. The SFE Futures were down 4 this morning.

The Dow Jones closed down 68 overnight. The Dow was down 170 at one stage. Disappointing economic data and a 7% fall in Hewlett Packard renewed doubt over the US economic recovery.

Housing starts and building permits fell higher than expected. Euro zone finance ministers indicated they will grant Greece more time to sort out their repayments. Metals were mostly down on the LME, the oil price fell 46c to $96.91 and gold lost $10.60 to $1480. The Aussie dollar improved to 106.23c post the RBA minutes yesterday.

Today’s main stories…

  • Rio Tinto (RIO) has priced $US2bn of fixed rate bonds, comprising US$700m of 5 year, $US1bn of 10 year and $US300bn of 30 years SEC registered securities. RIO down 11c to 8014c.
  • Austar United (AUN) up 6% to 130.5c after saying they’re continuing discussions with their largest shareholder Liberty Global Inc. and Foxtel, but haven’t received a formal bid yet.
  • GrainCorp (GNC) up to a 3 year high — up 6% to 816c — on the back of an article in the Australian suggesting the company is fielding bids from overseas.
  • Adelaide Brighton (ABC) told shareholders at their AGM to expect a FY11 net profit similar to that of 2010. The strong $A has had a positive impact on the bottom line and there is no material impact foreseen from the Japan disaster. ABC unchanged.
  • Charter Hall Office REIT (CQO) up 2c to 354c — they provided an update on their US strategy.
  • DWS Advanced Business Solutions (DWS) down 3% to 137c, fell to 130c at one stage, after releasing a trading update.
  • NRW Holdings (NWH) has been awarded a $158m 12 month contract in the Pilbara region. NWH up 6c to 268c.
  • Fortescue Metals (FMG) up 2.2% to 635c after launching a new $US1bn unsecured term loan facility to help fund their iron ore production expansion.
  • Uranex Ltd (UNX) up 44% to 47c after announcing “substantial” high grade intersections at their Mkuju project in Tanzania.
  • Consumer sentiment fell 1.3% in May from April and in annual terms fell 3.7%. The index fell to a seasonally adjusted 103.9 points in May.
  • Silex Systems (SLX) — Up 6% today as JP Morgan initiates research coverage with a target price of 700c almost double the 378c share price. They are in the business of uranium enrichment and solar energy technology.

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