The market is up 14. The SFE Futures were up 9 this morning.

The Dow closed up 72 and was up 137 at best. The S&P 500 ended the day flat, while the Nasdaq was down 0.8% as Apple fell 4%. Retail sales were better than expected. European markets were higher.  Metals were mixed on the LME — nickel was down 4.45% and the tin price down 3.66%. The gold price fell $10.50 to $1649.50. Oil up 61¢ to $103.61. The Australian dollar is unchanged and is buying 103.55¢. Utility stocks were the best sector up 0.95%. Financials were up 0.73%. Technology, Energy and Consumer discretionary stocks underperformed.

Main points:

  • Energy Resources of Aust (ERA) is up 8% in early trade after it announced yesterday plans to turn its open-pit Ranger mine into an underground operation and said the Ranger 3 Deeps underground exploration program is on target. One broker has said if Ranger 3 Deeps was to gain necessary approval the valuation of ERA is in the order twice the current share price. ERA is up 7.64% to 148c and is up from 130c two days ago.
  • Telstra (TLS) says thousands of jobs may be at risk when they  decommission their copper wire network on the rollout of the NBN. TLS may also announce a capital management initiative on Thursday with an investor briefing. TLS is up 0.3% to 338c.
  • M2 Telecommunication’s (MTU) $192m acquisition of Primus Telecom is the largest telecoms takeover in Australia since TPG Telecom (TPM) bought PIPE Networks for $373m in 2010. The purchase is expected to strengthen MTU’s position once the NBN is rolled out. MTU is down 1.5% to 328c having fallen 4% yesterday.
  • Linc Energy (LNC) was up 18% yesterday after a $120m investment by HK listed Golden Concord Holdings to acquire a 66% stake in their underground coal gasification and gas to liquids technology which is the world’s only synthetic diesel producer. LNC is down 6% to 119c.
  • Aston Resources (AZT) shareholders have backed Whitehaven’s (WHC) takeover via a scheme of arrangement. The enlarged WHC will become one of the top 50 companies in Australia by market value. AZT is up 0.10% to 1024c.
  • Flinders Mines (FMS) down 25% yesterday, has failed in their initial attempt to have an injunction lifted that is preventing a $558m takeover by Russia’s Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel. A full hearing of the appeal is expected to be scheduled by the end of the month. FMS is up 10.81% to 20.5c.
  • Aquila (AQA) has announced an update to their JORC estimate for the Thabazimbi Iron Ore project in Limpopo in South Africa. The total resource at Meletse has increased by 43% from 47.6Mt to 67.9Mt at 61.6% Fe. AQA is down 0.2% to 507c.
  • Downer EDI (DOW) has won an $85m contract for electrial work with The Victorian Comprehensive Cance Centre on a new cancer research centre in Melbourne. Construction of the hospital is due by the end of 2015. DOW is up 0.27% to 375c.
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