The market is up 11. The SFE Futures were up 4 this morning.

The Dow was up 33 overnight. It was up 59 at best and down 63 at worst. Early falls after a weak night for Europe were recovered by the close in the US on a Wall St Journal article saying the Greeks are close to finalising a deal with the EU on austerity measures that would release their €130-170bn bailout loan. Greek citizens are not so willing with protests in Athens overnight. Oil up $1.73 to $98.64. Gold up $23.50 to $1748. The Aussie dollar was higher overnight after the RBA left rates unchanged yesterday and is now buying $1.08.04.

Main points

  • The RBA unexpectedly left rates on hold yesterday at 4.25%. Bit of a surprise. Retailers will be screaming. Banks confused. They were girding themselves for a fight over why they didn’t pass it on. Now the speculation is that the ANZ who have an interest rate announcement on the second Friday of every month (this Friday) may actually raise rates by 15bp.
  • BHP Billiton (BHP) released their 1st H results – the numbers were in line with consensus estimates. EBIT was US$15.69bn, net profit was US$9.941bn and they declared a interim dividend of US55c per share was declared. BHP down 0.74% to 3762c.
  • Gunns (GNS) have announced a $300m equity transaction with one of Singapore’s richest individuals, Richard Chandler. He has a reputation for investing in distressed companies and engineering a turnaround. GNS is up 5c to 20c (up 40%).
  • Ansell (ANN) posted a net profit of $US64.9m in the half year to Dec 31, they declared an unfranked interim dividend of 15¢. ANN down 0.13% to 1493c.
  • Rio Tinto (RIO) has announced it plans to invest US$3.4bn in the expansion of its Pilbara iron ore operations in WA. They have full year results tomorrow. RIO down 0.73% to 7048c.
  • Westpac Bank (WBC) has announced their intention to launch a new Tier1 hybrid security as part of their ongoing capital management strategy. WBC is down 0.19% to 2088c.
  • Australand Property (ALZ) has announced its FY11 results which were OK. They reported a 15% drop in profit to $140.6m and declared an 11c dividend. ALZ up 4c to 267c.
  • Most brokers maintain their Neutral recommendation on National Australia Bank (NAB) after their trading update yesterday. A few brokers have cut their target prices. NAB down 23c to 2300c.
  • Whitehaven Coal (WHC) has restarted mining operations at their open-cut mines in the Gunnedah Basin of NSW following heavy rains. WHC up 10c to 546c.
  • Webjet (WEB) interims are out – revenue up 38%, profit up 17%, dividend up 20%, earnings up 23%. It is their sixteenth consecutive half year of growth (even  through the GFC). Price unchanged at 258c

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