The market is down 14. The SFE Futures were down 33 this morning.

The Dow Jones closed down 75 overnight. Dow up 17 at best and down 127 at worst. Italian borrowing rates remain high (6.71%) a day after Mario Monti was named to succeed Silvio Berlusconi as Italy’s prime minister. German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party voted to allow euro states to quit the euro zone, a move which is not permitted under current euro rules.

“We’re not throwing anybody out,” Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said.

In economic news, Japan’s GDP expanded four the first time in 4 quarters, at a rate of 6%, which is the fastest pace in one and a half years. The oil price fell 79¢ to $98.20, Gold fell $7.10 to $1781 and the Aussie dollar fell to 102.04¢ from 103.3¢.

Main points:

  • Commonwealth Bank (CBA) – TRADING UPDATE – Says unaudited cash earnings for the 1st Q were about $1.75bn, basically they are on track to equal last years record profit. Revenue growth trends remained broadly consistent with those outlined at their FY results in August. CBA down 1.5%, with the market disappointed about their credit margins being squeezed.
  • Paladin Energy (PDN) has bounced recently – up over 10% in the past week. Seems as if the trend is likely to continue with the front pages of Fairfax papers today reporting Julia Gillard is looking to drop Labor’s ban on uranium exports to India. PDN up 5% to 169.5c.
  • Origin Energy (ORG) announced plans to raise $500m through a debt offering to fund the development of their Australia Pacific LNG project. The notes would have an initial yield of 8.7%-9.2%, based on a margin of 4%/4.5% over the 90-day interbank rate. ORG up 3c to 1457c.
  • Aquila Resources (AQA) expects the cost of their flagship West Pilbara iron ore project to be higher than their previous $5.77bn estimate, mainly due to plans for a bigger port at Anketell Point. AQA up 7c to 685c.
  • IRESS Market Technology (IRE) has launched their UK Wealth Management division. Their aim is to establish a competitive and comprehensive advice platform to meet the needs of the UK advice market. IRE up 2c to 787c.
  • BHP Billiton’s (BHP) oil and gas chief Michael Yeager gave analysts a 2 hour presentation on shale gas and assets yesterday after complaints about a lack of information on recent acquisitions. BHP down 23c to 3728c.
  • Despite what the front page of AFR says this morning, Spotless Group (SPT) says they have not received a takeover offer worth $700m from private equity. The AFR reported that Pacific Equity Partners is finalising an offer worth $700m. SPT up 7c to 242c

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