The market is up 3. The SFE Futures were down 18 points this morning.

The Dow closed down 72 and was down 128 at worst having been up 15 on the open. Chinese market down 2.68% yesterday. US Durable Goods orders a bit below expectations but OK. Financial sector was up — only sector to rise. Gold price down $27. Metals down — talk of Chinese copper demand slowing and an increase in stockpiles. US$ up (not good for commodity prices). A$ weak — under $1.04. European markets down over 1%. Oil prices down on talk of US releases from their strategic reserve.

Main points:

  • Leighton Holdings (LEI) came out of its trading halt this morning after announcing further write downs on its troubled $4.1bn Airport Link project and the Victorian Desalination Project. The write downs will reduce LEI’s full year profit by $254m which is a reduction of 25%-38%. The company is now expecting underlying net profit of $400m-$450m down from $600m-$650m. LEI is down 7.33% to 2201c.
  • Beach Energy (BPT) came out of its trading halt this morning after it successfully completed the $267m institutional component of its $345 1 for 8 entitlement offer at 140c. They have also issued $150m in convertible notes. The retail component of the entitlement offer will open on April 4th. BPT is down 3.9% to 149.5c.
  • Bank of Queensland (BOQ) shares closed at 774c yesterday up 8% after the company came out of its trading halt having completed the institutional component of their $450m capital raising. BOQ said there was strong interest from existing shareholders suggesting faith in BOQ’s new CEO. The new shares issued at $6.05 come at a 26% discount to the closing price. BOQ is down 2.35% to 746c.
  • Alumina (AWC) is at risk of losing its BBB credit rating as it was placed on negative watch by Standard & Poors. This was done after concerns that challenging trading conditions, lower aluminium prices and rising input costs will weaken the company’s financial position. AWC is down 1.03% to 119.75c.
  • Kingsgate Consolidated (KCN) has been ordered by a Thai Court to produce an environmental impact assessment on their gold mine. The Chatree mine is the country’s largest gold mine and has been operating for 10 years. Residents say it has been affecting their health. The company denies any wrong doing and says their mine is safe to world standards.
  • Transurban Group (TCL) has confirmed its FY distribution guidance despite the difficult operating conditions. The company says it expects to pay investors at least 29c per share for the financial year. In Feb TCL booked a net profit of $93.2m up 24.9% boosted by greater toll revenue and traffic numbers.
  • Marcus Today has picked two value stocks from the Telecommunications and Cloud Computing sector. To see what they are sign up for a free trial at www.marcustoday.com.au

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