The market is down 8. Our Futures went from being up 25 to down 25 in the last half hour of trade in the US after S&P downgraded its ratings on 80 international banks as they applied a new methodology.

The Dow Jones closed up 33 overnight. Dow up 101 at best and down 6 at worst. Energy and Utilities stocks were best, Financials underperformed, down 0.6% as S&Ps downgraded the ratings of major US banks including Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and Bank of America. European markets were up as pressure on EU finance ministers intensifies. Metals were mixed on the LME, the oil price put on $1.24 to $99.45 and the Gold price increased by $4.60 to $1719. The Aussie dollar also hit parity overnight and is now trading at 100.03c from 98.98c.

Main points:

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  • Metcash (MTS) down 2c to 395c – net profit came in at $94.4m, down 14%, although importantly, they upgraded their FY guidance. They expect FY earnings to grow in low-to-mid single digits. Revenue was up 1.7% to $6.09b. Declared an 11.5¢ interim dividend.
  • Extract Resources (EXT) said the Namibian government has issued it with a “notice of preparedness” to grant a mining licence for its Husab uranium project. EXT up 10c to 805c.
  • Lynas Corp (LYC) at their AGM Chairman Curtis said rare earth prices reached “unsustainable levels” during the year and the fall in prices is good for the industry. Said there will be plenty of growth for rare earths going forward. LYC up 2c to 120c.
  • Aquila Resources (AQA) will issue bonus stock to shareholders in a bid to be included in the leading share index. They have also announced that they have received approval from a federal government department for a major iron ore project. AQA up 2.7%
  • Murchison Metals (MMX) will mothball their Jacks Hills mine by the end of the year and ship their final cargo of iron ore next February. MMX down 0.5c to 39.5c.
  • BHP Billiton (BHP) said they are contemplating selling some or all of their Canadian diamond assets after conducting a review of their operations. BHP down 33c to 3465c
  • Bradken (BKN) has completed their $US200m private placement. They also reconfirmed their FY12 guidance on earnings growth and say that mining markets remain strong. BKN up 4.3% to 741c.
  • Ausenco (AAX) has won contracts worth $150m to deliver Saudi Arabian gold projects. AAX down 2c to 270c.
  • Italy’s Eni SpA have bought a 32.5% stake in the Evans Shoal natural gas field, in a deal with Santos (STO). STO up 24¢.
  • News Corp (NWS) has re-elected James Murdoch to BSkyB despite protests votes from independent shareholders. NWS down 8¢.
  • Gloucester Coal (GCL) says they expect annual production to double to 10 million tones in the next four years. But they said that the coal export market remains uncertain. GCL up 1¢ to 740¢.

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