The market is up 32. The SFE Futures were up 27 this morning.
The Dow closed up 181 sending benchmark indexes to the biggest back to back gains of the year. The US market rallied on the prospects of more quantitative easing by the Fed after this morning’s initial claims and PPI data fell short of estimates. Rumours about strong growth data from China helped boost confidence and wash away worries. The S&P 500 Index added 1.4% to finish at 1,388. Google Inc advanced after reporting a record $2.76bn quarterly profit. Concerns about the Eurozone’s debt crisis eased as Italian and Spanish bond yields drifter lower following solid demand at this week’s debt auctions. The Euro hit a one-week high against the U.S. dollar. Nickel was up 4.8% and Zinc up 3.48%. Oil up buying $104.15. The Gold price was up $20.30 to $1680.60. The Aussie dollar weakened buying $104.36.
- Qantas Airways (QAN) has said Sydney needs a second airport and was an important air transport hub for Australia and the company. The Federal Government supports a new airport but will need that NSW Government’s support before any decision can be made.
- Insurance Australia Group (IAG) has announced its Malaysian JV business AmG Insurance Berhad is acquiring Kurina Insurans for $480m. IAG will contribute 49% approx $235m in line with its ownership of AmG. It will be funded from internal resources and will be earnings per share accretive within 12 months.
- Transurban Group (TCL) released their traffic and revenue data for March. The report showed all roads generated more revenue in the three months to the end of March, except for Sydney’s M2 motorway after major upgrade work affected traffic. TCL’s toll revenue rose 5.1% to $230.6m.
- Lynas (LYC) has secured a win in court after the Malaysian High Court knocked back a request to review the recent decision to grant the rare earths miner a temporary licence for the LAMP processing plant. The radiation risk has fuelled fears among local communities, environmental groups and Malaysia’s opposition party, which says it will stop the plant if elected to government. While the court had ruled in Lynas’ favour, the controversy was undermining both the plant and Malaysia’s international investment reputation.
- Seven Group’s (SVW) Westrac has purchased US mining parts and services business Bucyrus for $389.39m. WesTrac is one of the world’s most trusted Caterpillar equipment dealers. The company estimates the purchase will generate annual revenue of $579m to $627 million.
- United Group (UGL) awarded $370m worth of new projects across Australia. Some of the new work includes the construction of a new Solomon mine power station for FMG, provision of rail signaling & communications systems for the Solomon Rail Spur and a 2 year maintenance contract with Rio Tinto.
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