The market is up 18. We were up 50 on the open. The SFE Futures were down 9 this morning.

The Dow Jones closed up 37 on Friday. Dow up 75 at best and down 95 at worst. Despite finishing in positive territory on Friday, the Dow finished the week down 6.4% for its worst weekly performance since October 2008. The annual IMF-World Bank meetings were held in Washington on Saturday. The IMF’s policy board said they had agreed to act decisively and collectively and the EU also pledged to “do whatever is necessary to resolve the euro-area sovereign debt crisis and ensure the financial stability of the euro-area as a whole and its member states”. Metals were mostly down, the oil price fell 66c to $79.85 and Gold fell by a massive $101.90 at $1639.80. The Aussie dollar is now well below parity at 97.77c from 97.70c. 

Today’s main stories

  • Bow Energy (BOW) has told shareholders to accept an improved $534.6m bid from Royal Dutch Shell and PetroChina. They JV partners have upped their offer to 152c a share from their previous offer of 148c. BOW up 1.5c to 147.5c.
  • Woodside Petroleum (WPL) said the first oil is being pumped by the Okha floating production, storage and offloading vessel in the North West Shelf. WPL down 20c to 3117c.
  • ConnectEast (CEU) — Trading Halt ahead of a vote on a $2.17bn takeover offer. CEU shareholders will meet tomorrow to vote on the takeover offer from Horizon Roads. CEU unchanged at 48.5c.
  • Aston Resources (AZT) has reported a net profit of $242.9m for the full year and expects to produce the first coal for sale from its Maules Creek deposit in the middle of 2013. They expect to receive planning approvals for their Maules Creek mine in the January-March period next year. AZT down 20c to 982c.
  • Aurora Oil & Gas (AUT) has secured a $US300m debt facility. AUT down 5c to 220c.
  • Woolworths (WOW) expects to lift net profit in the current year but say it will be very tough and challengers remain. CEO Michael Luscombe will hand over the reign to Grant O’Brien next week. WOW up 29c target price 2486c.
  • Treasurer Wayne Swan has conceded that deepening global problems put the Gillard government’s promise to return the budget to surplus by 2013 at risk, as slower global growth “makes it tougher to come back to surplus”. Swan was crowned Euromoney Finance Minister of the Year at a ceremony in Washington this morning.
  • Federal opposition finance spokesman Andrew Robb said there’ll be “further weakness in the world market” and the RBA should respond by cutting interest rates because the “economy is already starting to tank in various areas”.
  • Stocks are going ex-dividend today: Newcrest Mining — 20c, Crown — 19c, Mirvac — 2c and Seven Group Holdings — 18c.

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