The market is up 27. The SFE Futures were up 2 this morning.

The Dow Jones closed down 1 on Friday. Dow up 127 at best and down 13 at worst. The Dow recorded its biggest weekly rise last week since 2009, up 7%. The early gains came on news of a fall in the US unemployment rate. The S&P 500 also closed flat as it failed to break through technical resistance near its 200-day moving average. This week is being described by some as a make or break week for Europe with the EU summit on Thursday and a Sunday Times article in the UK saying that if the debtor nations agree on budgetary measures the ECB has a 1 trillion euro “cash infusion” up its sleeve. Metals were mostly up on the LME, the oil price was up 76c to $100.96 and Gold put on $9.30 to $1749.10. The Aussie dollar fell to 102.68c from 102.38c.

Main points:

  • The Reserve Bank of Australia holds their monthly meeting tomorrow and decides on Interest Rates. The jury is out on whether we get a second consecutive rate cut. The 90 day bank bill rate is at 4.57% against official rates at 4.5% suggesting a rate cut is not a given.
  • Whitehaven Coal (WHC) is in talks with fellow coal miner Aston Resources (AZT) regarding a potential merger of equals. Whitehaven said the discussions were incomplete and there was no guarantee that an agreement would be reached. WHC up 12c to 576c and AZT up 4.6% to 953c.
  • The federal court has ruled on a class action by 34,000 claimants claiming around $50 million in compensation from ANZ Banking Group (ANZ) over penalty fees. ANZ up 15c to 2103c.
  • UGL Ltd (UGL) has completed the acquisition of UK property consultancy DTZ Holdings for £77.5 million, as they move to expand their corporate property services and capture growth in China. The acquisition makes them the world’s third largest property services company with annual revenue of $5.1bn. Patersons have a BUY recommendation. UGL down 10c to 1280c.
  • Aquila Resources (AQA) said the Environment Minister of WA has conditionally approved the construction of a mine and a rail line for their 5.77bn iron ore project. AQA up 3% to 661c.
  • APN News & Media (APN) expects a FY net profit of between $75m and $77m, slightly below what the market was expecting. EBIT is expected to come in between $171m – $173m. APN up 1% to 75c.
  • Consumer prices fell 0.1% in November, after a 0.1% rise in October and September according to the TD Securities-Melbourne Institute inflation gauge. In the year to November, the consumer prices rose 2.1%, compared with 2.6% in the 12 months to October.
  • The AIG /CBA Performance of Services Index (PSI) fell 1.1 points to 47.7 points in November as Australia’s service sector continued to contract

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