The market is up 62. The SFE Futures were up 46 this morning.

The Dow Jones closed up 166 on Friday to end up 4.9% for the week. The S&P 500 was up 6% for the week and is back above 1,220 for the first time since August. European markets were higher as sentiment improved with hope that a solution will be found to the region’s debt crisis. US retail sales grew in September by the fastest rate since February. The gold price up $14.50 to $1683. The oil price was up $2.57 to $86.80 but remains down 14% since July. The Aussie dollar up at 103.31¢, from 101.91¢.

Main points:

  • Rio Tinto (RIO) said it was streamlining its aluminium group following a strategic review. They will sell 13 aluminium units such as refineries and smelters as they seek to streamline their Alcan aluminium business. RIO up 2.5% to 7005¢.
  • Woolworths (WOW) has confirmed that they are considering a capital raising after the Australian Financial Review reported earlier that WOW was considering raising $500min capital through a domestic hybrid securities issue. The company said no decision has yet been made. WOW up 14¢ to 2463¢.
  • Britain’s Sunday Times says that BHP Billiton (BHP) is set to bid €2 billion for Brazil’s Ferrous Resources. Ferrous has been looking for bidders after they failed to list in London this year.  BHP up 2%.
  • Super Retail Group (SUL) has agreed to buy sports goods retailer Rebel Group for $610m from private equity firm Archer Capital as part of its expansion into the leisure retail market. SUL unchanged at 650¢.
  • Telstra (TLS) – Telstra’s Ian Thodey was on the ABC’s Inside Business program at the weekend. He was making some pretty comfortable noises. Might bode well for their AGM on Wednesday.  TLS up 1.5% to 311.5¢.
  • Qantas (QAN) — Cancelled flights and union issues continuing to bury Qantas sentiment for customers. Shareholder unlikely to be impressed either. QAN up 1¢ at 157¢.
  • Energy Resources of Australia (ERA) has raised $380m from institutional investors in a new share sale to extend its Ranger uranium mine. Majority shareholder Rio Tinto had bought its full entitlement of 68.4%. ERA said the proceeds will be used to fund water management initiatives, construction of the Ranger 3 Deeps exploration decline and associated drilling, evaluation studies into the development of the Ranger 3 Deeps mine and an expanded exploration program.  ERA up 1.9%.
  • Coal Seam Gas — There were a number of demonstrations about the environmental impact of CSG across Australia at the weekend. 20 rallies in NSW alone. Four Corners are doing an expose on coal seam gas expected to air in a few weeks.

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