The market is up 53. The SFE Futures were up 51 this morning.

The Dow closed up 194 and was up 210 at best for its biggest one day rally in a month on a successful Spanish Bond auction. The S&P 500 closed up 1.6%, and the Nasdaq up 1.8%. European markets were well up. The IMF raised its global growth estimates. Metals were mixed on the LME. Gold was up $1.40 $1651.10. Oil up $1.08 to $104.69. The Australian dollar is higher at 103.99. All ten S&P 500 sectors were higher. Technology and Financial stocks were best. Industrials, Energy and Healthcare also up.

Main points:

  • BHP Billiton (BHP) have released their March Q Production report which was inline with analysts expectations. Iron ore and oil production continuing to rise but industrial action and weather are restrained coal output in QLD.
  • Bank of Queensland (BOQ) delivered an interim loss of $90.6m down 289% after significant charges on bad loans flagged in a March profit warning. Impairment expenses were $328m after floods caused heavy falls in property valuations and a surge in BOQ’s non performing loans. Fully franked Interim dividend of 26c.
  • Grange Resources (GRR) released their March Q Production report which showed record monthly pellet sales in January, an improved cash position and a 3c dividend payable in April.
  • Perseus Mining (PRU) released their March Q Production report which was slightly better than expected. Gold production was 38.8oz above an expected 37.7oz after higher head grades were achieved. Cash costs were US$723/oz well below an expected US$948/oz. PRU retained their June Q guidance of 50-55koz Au at US$690/oz.
  • Westfield (WDC) says it will sell 8 non-core shopping centres in the US for $1.54bn to pay down corporate debt and reinvest in higher return redevelopment opportunities like the World Trade Centre in the US. The transaction values were about equal to current book values. WDC reiterated their distribution for the year will remain at 49.5c.
  • Wesfarmers’ (WES) Coles and Woolworths (WOW) are believed to be raising prices on less visible grocery items such as sauces and condiments to offset the profit margin impact of deflation in fresh produce. This deflation is expected to reduce sales growth by 2%-3% in the March Q.
  • Spark Infrastructure Group (SPK) is seeking ways to diversify away from electricity distribution and to possibly invest into Sydney’s $2bn desalination plant. SPK is confident it can finance the deal and get the support of shareholders before submitting an offer. Final bids are due in early May.
  • Castlemain Goldfields (CGT) is up 30% since the start of the week after it received a takeover offer by Singaporian LionGold Corp. The offer is for 2 LionGold shares for every 9 CGT shares at 18.4c. CGT closed yesterday at 15c.
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