The market is down 42. The SFE Futures were down 31 this morning.
The Dow Jones closed down 19 overnight. Dow up 89 at best and down 23 at worst. The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones fell for a fifth straight day — its longest slump in almost a year. Wall Street fell sharply late in the session after a speech by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke which talked about the economic recovery being ‘uneven’ and the recovery “frustratingly slow”. Metals were mixed overnight, Gold fell $3.20 to $1544 and the oil price was up slightly — 8c to $99.09. The Aussie dollar fell slightly to 107.18c from 107.27c.
In the news today…
- The RBA decided to leave interest rates on hold yesterday at 4.75% for the 6th straight month. There was no repeat of the line that higher rates were likely to be required. Most economists still believe a rate rise is possible in August after the CPI numbers in July despite a disappointing GDP number last month, other weak economic numbers and a high A$.
- Rio Tinto (RIO) has announced they will double their fleet of driverless trucks at their iron ore operations in WA as they push ahead with expansion plans. RIO up 38c to 7967c.
- Sigma Pharmaceuticals (SIP) up 6% to 43c after comments that trading was ahead of their expectations for the year. It is being seen as a turnaround situation with a new CEO.
- Australia Agricultural Co. (AAC) is in a trading halt as it considers the implications of a government imposed suspension of up to 6 months on live cattle to Indonesia. AAC last traded at 142.5c.
- Stockland Group (SGP) is in advanced discussions to sell around 20% of their industrial portfolio for $200m. They didn’t disclose the identity of the buyer. SGP down 2c to 344c.
- Coffey International (COF) is up on the announcement of a strategic review under their new managing director. COF will incur one off restructure costs leading to an EBITDA loss in 2011 but with a significant improvement in 2012. There is also a bit of bid speculation. The stock recently hit a 9 year low. COF up 30% to 64c.
- Hastie Group (HST) has struck a deal with their lenders to restructure their debt and hopefully recapitalising the company. HST last traded at 20.5c. It fell 6.8% yesterday.
- Indophil Resources (IRN) is in a trading halt pending a capital raising. Last traded at 52c.
- Deloitte Access Economics has reported in its Retail Forecasts report that retail sales have grown just 1.3% in FY 2011. This is the worst result in 20 years, but they expect the resources boom to lead to retail spending growth of 2.2% in 2011/12 and 3.3% in 2012/13.
- Australian housing finance grew by a stronger than expected 4.8% in April. Economists were expecting 2.8%.
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