The market is up 23. The SFE Futures were up 2 this morning.

The Dow Jones closed down 26 overnight. Dow up 17 at best and down 71 at worst. Better than expected US economic data offset continuing European issues. The new head of the ECB Mario Draghi has signalled they are ready to act more aggressively to fight Europe’s debt crisis but he insisted they will not act as lender of last resort. Meanwhile Bank of England Governor Mervyn King has urged UK banks to enhance their defences against the euro area’s systemic crisis and prepare for a dismantling of the euro. Metals were mostly down overnight, the oil price put on 31c to $100.05, Gold put on $1.80 to $1748.50 and the Aussie dollar fell to 102.38c from 102.78c.

Main points:

  • Perseus Mining (PRU) has replaced Billabong (BBG) in the S&P/ASX 100 share index. In the ASX 200 Index, Standard & Poor’s have removed Gunns (GNS), Murchison Metals (MMX) and OM Holdings (OMH) and replaced them with Integra Mining (IGR), Ramelius Resources (RMS) and Silver Lake Resources (SLR). BBG up 11c to 382c.
  • Rio Tinto (RIO) plans to expand its Kitimat aluminium smelter in Canada, investing an additional $US2.7 billion in the project. The site, now valued at $3.3 billion, is expected to be completed in 2014, with first production planned for the first half of 2014. RIO down 25c to 6567c.
  • Tatts Group (TTS) has agreed to buy the Tasmanian TAB for $103 million as they seek to expand into the state. Tatts said it will fund the acquisition from existing loan facilities and cash. TTS up 0.5c to 233.5c.
  • Namibia has granted the local unit of Extract Resources (EXT), Swakop Uranium, a mining licence to exploit the largest uranium deposit in the country in what will be a $1.5 billion investment. EXT up 2c to 815c.
  • The NSW Supreme Court has approved the $7 billion restructure of Centro Properties (CNP). But former auditor PwC is arguing that Centro improperly transferred $100 million, with nearly half benefitting shareholders, at the expense of creditors.
  • Charter Hall Office (CQO) – Trading Halt – Pending an announcement on a potential takeover approach. They mentioned that a Macquarie led Group made a $1.18bn offer for Charter Hall in August. CQO last traded at 342c.
  • Australia’s big four banks have had their credit ratings downgraded by Standard & Poor’s from AA to AA minus. Macquarie Group (MQG) had their long term rating downgraded from A minus to BBB. MQG down 1.4% to 2400c, ANZ up 6c to 2056c, CBA up 40c to 4900c, NAB down 7c to 2410c and WBC up 17c to 2131c.
  • David Jones (DJS) has held their AGM and says they have experienced a soft start to FY12. Challenges remain. DJS down 1c to 287c.

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