The market is down 14. The SFE Futures were up 5 points this morning.

The Dow closed up 7 points for its third straight day higher. The main driver for markets at the moment is the situation in Europe. Some progress as Greek political leaders muddle through a “tentative” deal on austerity cuts which has now to be presented to European ministers for approval. Feb 13 is the key date. The Greek deal with bond holders still needs to be done so the bailout can be agreed on by February 29th, so the necessary legals can be done and the bailout funds released before Greece’s €14.5bn repayment deadline on March 20th. The Aussie fell slightly to 107.86¢. Euro was up to a 2 month high. Metals were up. The gold price was up $2 to $1733.

Main points…

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  • Rio Tinto (RIO) announced their ! H profit results last night. Net profit fell 59% to US$5.8bn — adding back the provision underlying earnings were $15.549bn, up 11%, slight ahead of analysts expectations $15.3bn. RIO down 2% to 6869c.
  • Newcrest Mining (NCM) — released their 1st H results which beat expectations. NCM recorded a $659m net profit which was better than consensus of $502m. They declared an interim dividend of 12 ¢ which was below an expected 15¢ dividend, but higher than their previous dividend of 10c. NCM up 3% to 3444c.
  • Mount Gibson Iron (MGX) has released their 1st H figures. Net profit of $121.2m was down 13% from last years $140m and well below market expectations. A 2¢ interim dividend was declared which was smaller than expected. MGX down 6c to 134c.
  • Transfield Services (TSE) have confirmed their FY profit guidance but they expect it to be at the lower end of their guidance of $130m-$135m. They expect to announce a 1st H profit of $44m, up 12% on year, on February 22. TSE up 8% to 213.5c.
  • There are suggestions that the Commonwealth Bank (CBA) and AGL Energy (AGK) will both come to the market with hybrid issues whilst retail investors are still hot to trot on alternatives to term deposits. Westpac (WBC) is also said to be considering raising at least $1bn in hybrid debt. CBA down 10c to 5031c, AGK down 5c to 1420c and WBC unchanged at 2109c.
  • Bank of Queensland (BOQ) has vowed not to raise home interest rates in a move to put pressure on the big 4 banks. There is the possibility the big 4 banks will increase rates independently. BOQ down 4c to 735c.
  • Chinese PPI and CPI up a bit more than expected – CPI to 4.5% after 5 months of softening growth – reduces chances of further monetary policy easing (not good for resources).

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