The market is down 72. The SFE Futures were down 70 this morning.

The Dow Jones closed down 247 overnight for its worst performance in two weeks. The S&P 500 was down 1.9% after its 6% gain last week. Germany’s Finance Minister said that the EU summit on Oct 23 will not provide a definitive solution to the regions debt crisis. The gold price down $10.90 to $1672.10. The oil price fell $0.50 to $86.30. The Aussie dollar down to 101.58 from 103.31¢.

Main points:

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  • After reviewing Wesfarmers’ (WES) financial report the Australian Shareholders Association has raised concerns about the sustainability of the company’s dividend. They say that WES has used all of its free cash flow over the past three years to pay dividends and if retail margins contract the payouts could be cut.  WES down 14¢ to 3181¢.
  • Telstra (TLS) CEO David Thodey said the “momentum we saw in the second half of 2011 has continued into the first part of the 2012 financial year”. Chairman Catherine Livingstone says they intend to pay a fully franked 28¢ dividend in both 2011/12 and 2012/13 given “no unexpected material events” and a possible buyback after the NBN deal. TLS up 6¢ to 317¢.
  • Woolworths (WOW) has announced a capital raising from which they hope to raise around $500 million for general corporate purposes. The offer is expected to open on October 26, with notes issued on November 24 and will be open to institutional investors, shareholders and the general public. Patersons clients interest in this Woolworth Notes II issue should contact their adviser. WOW down 19¢ to 2450¢.
  • Cougar Energy (CXY) has entered a Supreme Court claim in Brisbane against 3 Queensland bureaucrats. They are seeking compensation of $34 million after their $550 million underground coal gasification project in Kingaroy was shut down after benzene was found in groundwater on the site. CXY unchanged at 2¢.
  • Ansell (ANN) held its AGM yesterday. CEO Magnus Nicolin said that the business remains solid despite world economic uncertainty. He said there were mixed cost pressures on its raw materials with prices for latex rubber and cotton were falling but prices for nitrile rising. The impact on the cost of latex given recent flooding in Thailand, which was a major producer of latex, is unknown. ANN down 3¢ to 1383¢.
  • Cochlear (COH) at its AGM today said it expects the September recall of its Nucleus CI500 devices to cost $130-$150 million. COH down 2.7%.
  • Sundance Resources (SDL), the target of a $1.36 billion takeover by China’s Hanlong Mining Group, is positive the deal won’t be derailed by an insider trading investigation into former employees and associates of Hanlong. They expect a decision from the FIRB “well within the indicative timetable” for a deal to complete next May. SDL down 2.8%.
  • Resolute Mining (RSG) Tuesday reported production from its mines in Australia, Tanzania and Mali. RSG down 3.1%.

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