The market is up 12. The SFE Futures were up 30 this morning.

The Dow Jones closed up 97 overnight. Dow up 100 at best and down 29 at worst. Stocks were up as the IMF sought to boost their $600 billion fund to help euro zone countries by seeking up to an additional US$500 billion. Goldman Sachs up 6.8% after reporting quarterly profit of $1.84 per share that beat the consensus estimate of $1.23. However, profit was down 58% on the prior 4th quarter. It was also reported that a deal between Greece and private investors on writing off around €100 billion of debt might be reached by the end of the week. Metals were mixed on the LME, the oil price put on 44c to $101.15, Gold increased $3.50 to $1659 and the Aussie dollar was up to 104.18c from 103.78c.

Main points

  • BHP Billiton (BHP) released their Quarterly Production Numbers this morning. Their iron ore division was the standout, with operations increasing to a record annualized rate of 178m metric tons in the three months, up 25% on the previous quarter. All in all, the numbers look solid. BHP up 31c to 3731c.
  • Woodside Petroleum (WPL) — Quarterly Production Numbers — They said although production fell 6% in the fourth Q on last year, revenue jumped 17% due to higher realized prices. They produced 16.6m barrels on oil equivalent, compared with 17.7m on year earlier.  WPL up 7c to 3418c.
  • Ivanhoe Mines said they won’t use a shareholders’ rights plan to stop Rio Tinto (RIO) from taking a majority stake in the Vancouver miner, which is building a massive copper-gold mine in Mongolia. Ivanhoe’s board said it will defer activation of the shareholders’ rights plan until the company’s May 11 meeting, where it will recommend that shareholders vote to cancel it entirely. RIO up 37c to 6697c.
  • Resolute Mining (RSG) lifted production by 7% in the December quarter and has reaffirmed their full-year production target. RSG up 2c to 206c.
  • After announcing their production results yesterday, OZ Minerals (OZL) has been criticised by analysts who say OZL has been sluggish in discovering new revenue streams. They questioned when the miner would make a new discovery at Prominent Hill, or a merger or acquisition. OZL up 9c to 1102c.
  • Westpac Banking (WBC) said they have put the future of 28 IT management roles in doubt by commencing a review of their roles as part of a group-wide restructure. WBC up 21c to 2078c.
  • Coca-Cola Amatil (CCL) has opened a new US$12.5m plant in Woolston, Christchurch, as part of its commitment to the earthquake-devastated region. CCL down 6c to 1176c.
  • The Australian unemployment rate hit 5.2% in December, slightly better than the 5.3% registered in November. The December participation rate hit 65.2%, economists expected 65.5%.

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