The market is down 61. The SFE Futures were down 31 this morning.

The Dow Jones closed down 131 overnight. The Dow closed lower for a third day and hit its lowest level in two weeks. The euro continued its decline, falling to $1.294, its lowest level against the dollar in 11 months. An Italian bond auction was struck at a yield of 6.47% up from the last 5 year bond at 6.29% sending warnings about Italy’s ability to fund itself. Recent warnings about a downgrade to France’s AAA rating could threaten the top rating of Europe’s bailout fund and weigh heavily on the euro. Gold was the big mover overnight — down 5% or $84.10 to $1579 and oil fell 5% or $5.18 to $94.99. The Aussie dollar fell below parity to 99.14c from 100.14c. Metal prices all down as well.

Main points:

  • National Australia Bank (NAB) has held their AGM today. Chairman Michael Cameron said global economic conditions were having an impact on Australian businesses and are pushing the cost of funds up. He added that the NAB are well positioned for satisfactory returns and volatile markets have pushed up the cost of doing business across the board. 2012 will be another tough year. NAB down 34c to 2352c.
  • Talk is that the Commonwealth Bank (CBA) will sell their 17% stake in Mortgage Choice (MOC) before Christmas. They also have a substantial stake in Countplus (CUP) which could also be up for sale. CBA down 71c to 4867c and MOC down 0.5c to 129c.
  • According to the AFR, Qantas Airways (QAN) will have to raise capital despite management denying a capital raising is an option. QAN down 1.5c to 151.5c.
  • Westpac Bank (WBC) CEO says major Australian banks will have to move interest rates independently of the RBA next year because of funding cost issues. Not what the government and mortgagees want to hear. WBC down 1.6% to 2046c.
  • Leighton Holdings (LEI) has been awarded a $240m mining contract extension at the South Australian Iron Ore mine. LEI down 2% to 1983c.
  • REA Group (REA) raised their stake in Italian property portal casa.it to 100% for a cash consideration of $9.22m. They’ve had a controlling interest in the site since February 2007. REA up 11c to 1240c.
  • Bannerman Resources (BMN) has received commitments to raise $8.2m through an equity placing.
  • BlueScope Steel (BSL) is in a trading halt and they seek to sell shares not taken up in a recent capital raising at 40c. The halt will last until Monday unless the outcome of the bookbuild is known earlier. BSL last traded at 43.5c.
  • Ten Network (TEN) up 6% on talk that restrictive media laws will be abolished.
  • New motor vehicle sales fell 0.7% in November to a seasonally adjusted 87,370 units, compared to 88,003 units in October

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