The market is up 26. The SFE Futures were up 55 this morning.

The Dow Jones closed up 180 overnight after falling 247 in the prior session. A news report said France and Germany will increase the euro zone’s rescue fund to €2 trillion as part of a plan to resolve the sovereign debt crisis. Moody’s has cut Spain’s rating from A1 from Aa2, with a negative outlook and they say France’s AAA rating could be put on negative outlook. Slower than expected Chinese GDP growth dragged the Dow down 101 points early on and iron ore stocks got belted in our market yesterday and are still lagging today. The gold price down $19.10 to $1657.50. The oil price up $2 to $88.37. The Aussie dollar was up at 102.63¢ from 101.58¢.

Main points:

  • BHP Billiton (BHP) iron ore and petroleum production was up in the first quarter. Petroleum production was up 19% on the quarter and on the year, iron ore output was up 11% on the quarter and 24% on the year. But copper production fell 19% on the quarter and 24% on the year after strikes at the Escondida mine in Chile and lower ore grades, as well as planned maintenance at the Chile operation and planned outages at the Olympic Dam mine. BHP up 20¢ to 3660¢.
  • Webjet (WEB) says its pre-tax first quarter profit is up 23% to $4.65 million on the same period last year. The company confirmed guidance of 10% growth in full year profit. MD John Guscic said “Despite general consumer retail caution, the overall travel industry is currently displaying evidence of modest growth, albeit driven by special market stimulatory offers”. WEB up 2.7% to 226¢.
  • OZ Minerals (OZL) has reported that quarterly production fell 3%, while production costs jumped 28%. But they say their Prominent Hill mine remains on track to hit full year guidance. Gold output fell by 18% and silver output rose 10%. OZL up 1.3% to 1151¢.
  • CSL Ltd (CSL) has had their AGM and says that they are trading as expected at the end of the first quarter and they confirmed guidance of 10% net profit growth in FY 2012. They announced that they will buy back up to $900m in shares. CSL up 26¢ to 3047¢.
  • Rio Tinto (RIO) has committed an additional $1.2 billion to the development of the huge Simandou iron ore field project in Guinea. Rio said, “This funding will allow the project to move forward towards first shipment of ore by mid-2015”.  Rio down 48¢ to 6577¢.
  • Lend Lease (LLC) has launched a wholesale investment vehicle, the Lend Lease Real Estate Partners New Zealand Fund, which will take ownership of four New Zealand shopping centres. LLC up 2.2%.

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