The market is up 46. The SFE Futures were up 43 this morning.

The Dow Jones closed up 153 overnight. The Dow was down as much as 251 before making a 400 point turnaround in the final hour of trade to close up 153. The late rally came on news that European finance officials were working on ways to coordinate their efforts to prop up the regions banks. Moody’s downgraded Italy’s bond ratings Bernanke said the Fed was prepared to take further steps to stimulate the economy. Nine of the ten S&P sectors closed higher. Metals were mostly down on the LME, the oil price up 62c at $78.23, Gold fell $31.70 to $1626 and the Aussie dollar increased to 95.88c from 95.26c.

Today’s main stories

  • Commonwealth Bank (CBA) has agreed to a confidential settlement with investors who lost millions of dollars through the actions of financial adviser Don Nguyen who has since been banned by the corporate regulator from providing financial services. CBA up 9c to 4360c.
  • Transfield Services (TSE) announced they intend to return funds to shareholders through an on-market buy-back of up to 10% of its shares on issue. TSE has capital to invest following the disposal of its U.S. facilities management business USM and the sell down of its holding in the Transfield Infrastructure Fund. TSE up 5% to 190c.
  • GrainCorp (GNC) has finalised its purchase of GermanMalt GmbH & Co for €58 million. GrainCorp announced the purchase in July and said the takeover would make malt sales to the Africa and South America more competitive and boost their ability to supply customers. GNC up 8c to 725c.
  • WPG Resources shareholders agreed to sell a collection of iron ore assets to OneSteel (OST) for $346m. The deal is inline with OST’s plan to become a significant exporter of iron ore as steel makers now find it more profitable to sell the iron ore into Asian markets rather than risk losing money by turning it into steel. OST up 1% to 115c.
  • The AFR says UBS will begin the process for the 35% float of Fairfax Media’s (FXJ) NZ online auctions and classified advertising business, Trade Me. It must be said, it’s not the best market to be floating a business. UBS has been appointed lead manager. FXJ up 1.8% to 83c.
  • Austar United Communication (AUN) said the FIRB has extended their review period of a $2bn takeover bid by Foxtel by 90 days. AUN down 1.2% to 115c.
  • New Hope Cope (NHC) has put up the for sale sign and has opened its books to potential bids that might value the company at $10bn. NHC up 16% to 618c.
  • Stocks going ex dividend today include: Oroton Group (ORL – 28c)

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