The market is up 18. The SFE Futures were up 33 this morning.

The Dow closed up 71 and was up 100 at best as Greece completed a deal with its private creditors. The Greek Finance Minister was all smiles and kisses in the Greek parliament after the swaps deal declaring that “For the first time we are cutting debt instead of adding to it” (gilding the lily!). The S&P 500 closed up 1% and the Nasdaq was up 1.2%. European markets were higher — Germany up 2.45%, France up 2.54%. The Aussie was up to 106.42¢ against the USD after dropping following yesterday’s weak jobs numbers. Gold was up $17.40 an ounce to $1701. Oil was up 64¢ to $106.80 a barrel. Metals were mostly up on the LME. We are waiting for Chinese data and an ANZ rate decision today.

Main points:

  • Qantas Airways’ (QAN) was dealt a major setback as talks with its potential partner Malaysia Airlines failed to reach a deal as both parties could not agree on commercial terms. QAN had planned to create a new premium airline in Asia to serve the fast growing Asian market. The breakdown is also a negative for CEO Alan Joyce who is desperately trying to revive the company.
  • Insurance Group Australia (IAG) has announced it plans to cut 600 jobs from its CGU business division. This is part of a three year restructure to help simplify and remove duplication in its processes.
  • Lynas Corp (LYC) understands that an appeal to the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation has been lodged in relation to the decision to approve the temporary operating license for Lynas’ processing plant in Malaysia. The appeal will be heard in April.
  • Perpetual (PPT) has seen 4% of its equity purchased by Regal Funds Management purportedly for ‘investment purposes’. It is believed Regal was shorting PPT shares when KKR launched a failed takeover bid. A positive move as it shows Regal believes PPT is undervalued and can be turned around.
  • Macquarie Group (MQG) has been awarded a role in underwriting the US$5bn Facebook IPO.
  • Leighton Holdings (LEI) faces new write-downs on a $1.05bn contract to deliver a jetty to WA’s $43bn Gorgon gas project. It is a joint venture with Italian contractor Saipem for Chevron. The write-downs follow problems with a new design for concrete structures used to provide a foundation for construction work.
  • Australian regulators have given the green light for the $8bn merger of Gloucester Coal (GCL) and Chinese Yancoal Australia. The deal is subject to some conditions that require the merged business to continue to be headquartered in Australia and continue its production and supply arrangements on a commercial basis. The merger will create Australia’s largest independently listed coal producer.

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