The market is up 17. The SFE Futures were up 19 this morning.

The Dow closed up 78 and was up 98 at best as the index rebounded from its worst fall of the year a day earlier on renewed hopes that the Greek swap deal will get over the line after all, the deadline is 7am tomorrow morning our time. Good US ADP employment numbers helped. We have Chinese industrial production, CPI, PPI and retail sales tomorrow. We also have an ANZ interest rate decision tomorrow. The S&P 500 closed up 0.7% after three days of falls and the Nasdaq was up 0.9%. European markets were higher. The Aussie dollar was up 33¢ against the USD to 105.85¢. Gold was up $13.60 an ounce. Oil was up 1.45% to $106.19 a barrel. US Financial stocks rebounded, up 1.3% after their 2.5% drop a day earlier.

Main points:

  • Australia’s unemployment rate rose to 5.2% from 5.1% last month. The total number of jobs fell by 15,400 in February to 11,444,000, less than an expected gain of 5,000.
  • Telstra (TLS) has said it will receive its first NBN payment from the government sooner than expected. The $300m payment may come before the end of the financial year. This figure is not factored into TLS’s guidance or analyst expectations.
  • James Hardie (JHX) will receive $121.8m from the ATO for interest on amounts overpaid, bringing the total amount refunded to $369.8m.
  • Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) admits it may have breached the new consumer laws when it pressured 96,000 of its customers to raise their credit limits despite the introducing of new laws preventing such unsolicited offers.
  • Rio Tinto (RIO) said China will supplement iron ore supply from Africa to help substitute material. But the main base supply will come from Australia. RIO believes the Chinese iron ore demand will peak between in 2020–2030, whereas analysts are estimating the peak to plateau after 2018.
  • QBE Insurance Group (QBE) has acquired a general insurance business of HSBC Argentina and Hang Seng Bank for US$420m.
  • AMP has taken over Future Financial Services to expand the distribution and boost sales. The private practice has 58 advisers and $2bn in funds under management.
  • OZ Minerals (OZL) has talked down speculation that they are looking to buy 80% of Sandfire Resources (SFR). Many analysts regard SFR as a takeover target for their $4.2bn DeGrussa copper-gold mine make assets. OZL owns 20% of SFR and has $750m in cash.
  • Ivanhoe Mines (IVA) has produced its first copper and gold from its processing facilities in QLD. They expect 700,000 – 900,000 metric tons of ore this year.

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