The market is down 86. The SFE Futures were down 105 this morning.

The Dow Jones closed down 283 overnight. Dow down 291 at worst. The Fed funds rate was left unchanged at 0.00-0.25% at the September FOMC meeting. The Fed also announced that they will to replace $400bn in short-term Treasuries in its portfolio with long-term bonds, in a move that has been called Operation Twist which aims to bring down long term yields. They will simultaneously sell an equal amount of shorter dated (3-years and less) notes and bonds. Financials were worst, down 4.9%, falling to their lowest level since July 2009. Greece has pledged to do “anything” to stay in the eurozone and gain access to loans. Metals were down on the LME, the oil price fell $1 to $85.92 and Gold fell $1 to 1808.10. The Aussie dollar is nearing parity, now sitting at 100.67c.

Today’s main stories:

  • Foster’s Group (FGL) has agreed to an improved takeover offer from SAB Miller. SAB is now offering $5.53 a share, comprising 510c cash and a 30c capital return, as well as FGL’s 13.25c dividend. The takeover is subject to a number of conditions including approvals from shareholders, FIRB, the ACCC, the ATO as well as a supporting Independent Expert’s Review. FGL up 7% to 526c.
  • OneSteel (OST) has made some organization changes. They have appointed Greg Waters as CEO of their Iron Ore Mining Unit. OST down 2.1% to 125c
  • Rio Tinto (RIO) has shortlisted 9 parties in bidding for a South African coal mine that it acquired through its near $US4bn takeover of Riversdale Mining, and hopes to conclude the sale by the end of the year. Rio down 5% to 6616c.
  • Wesfarmers (WES) says rumours that they would launch a bid for privately owned The Good Guys are just that. It is believed private equity group Blackstone Capital offered $600m to $700m for the The Good Guys earlier this year. WES down 31c to 3035c.
  • Washington H Soul Pattinson (SOL) announced a 67% increase in net profit to $363.9m. Revenue fell 8% to $758.4m. They will pay a fully franked dividend of 25c, taking the FY dividend to 40c. SOL down 10c to 1225c.
  • A couple of brokers this morning have downgraded David Jones (DJS) on the back of their result yesterday, despite the underlying figures coming in as expected. Patersons maintain their Hold recommendation. DJS down 8c to 268c.
  • According to Reserve Bank of Australia Assistant Governor Phil Lowe, Australia’s government and the RBA are well placed for a quick policy adjustment if needed in case of a sharp economic downturn.
    • Stocks going ex-dividend today include: Goodman Fielder (GFF) – 2.5c, Credit Corp (CCP) – 10c.
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