The market is down 28. The SFE Futures were unchanged this morning.
The Dow closed down 131 continuing its third straight loss and worst week of the new year. The S&P 500 closed down 1.14% after disappointing jobs data released Friday. The headline increase in Non-farm Payrolls over March was shy of market expectations, adding weight to recent comments by Fed Chairman Bernanke that a sustained surge in employment growth will require a further acceleration in the US’s economic expansion. Asian stocks fell for a fourth day, the longest losing streak on the regional benchmark since November as the US jobs report cast doubts on the strength of a US recovery. European Bourses were closed for the Easter Monday Public Holiday. Metals were up on the LME with copper prices up 0.28%. The Gold price up $13.80 to $1643.90. Oil drifted lower to $102.46. The Aussie dollar continued to slip to 103.05¢.
- ACCC has approved Foxtel’s $1.9bn takeover of regional pay TV group Austar United (AUN). Telstra (TLS) has a 50% ownership of Foxtel. The takeover will allow Foxtel to offer its Foxtel on T-Box product, where subscribers can watch a number of Foxtel channels delivered over the internet to regional centers currently served by AUN. It will also allow those living in the bush to have the same access to the same products as those in the city.
- Virgin Australia (VAH) will invest in Skywest Airlines (SXR) in order to capitalise on opportunities in regional Australia and to gain exposure to Australia’s booming mining hubs. SXR caters for domestic, international, corporate and the fly in, fly out mining travelers. VAH has made the investment through an $8m convertible debt instrument which can be converted into shares at 45c. On a fully diluted basis it represents a 10% stake in SXR.
- Energy Resources of Australia (ERA) has lifted its expectations for how much uranium oxide it will produce in 2012 to be between 3200 and 3700 tonnes. ERA had previously expected production to be between 3000 — 3700 tonnes. The production will be dependent on the level of rainfall.
- Gunns (GNS) share remain in suspension as the company has asked for more time to raise funds. The company confirms it is proceeding to formulate an equity offer and will provide a further update on April 16. GNS is seeking $400m to cut debt and reinvest into the development of its $2.5bn pulp mill project.
- GWA Group (GWA) provided a trading update for the March Q. Adverse weather conditions on the East Coast has caused a slow down in demand and lower sales of DUX environmental water heaters. The company expected FY sales to be down about 11%. FY trading EBIT is expected to decline by between 20%-25%. Dividend maintained at 18c.
- ANZ Job Advertisements Survey — Job adds rose for a third consecutive month, in a sign that hiring intentions by businesses are continuing to improve. In the year to March, job ads were up 2.8% and are at the highest level since Nov 2008.