The market is up 9. The SFE Futures were up 33 this morning.

The Dow closed down 30 and was down as much as 68 at worst and up 11 at best. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq closed with slight gains. European markets were higher. UK markets, including the LME, were closed. The gold price was down $6.10 to $1639.10. Oil down 79¢ to $98.03. The Australian dollar is now buying 102.06¢, up from 101.28¢ yesterday. Financials, Healthcare, Consumer Staples and Healthcare ended the day higher, while the other S&P 500 sectors closed lower. The 10-year US bond yield fell to 1.877%. The Greek market fell 6.7% as they failed to form a coalition government and European political turmoil (read “EU fiscal cohesion in doubt”) looks likely to contribute to the chances of an economic failure.

Main points:

  • Iluka Resources (ILU) has reduced zircon production guidance from 450,000t to 400,000t for the full year and an increase in unit cash costs from $650/t to $700/t. Capex will increase from $220m to $260m in 2012. ILU is down 11.41% to 1413c.
  • Leighton Holdings (LEI) today reconfirmed their profit guidance for the six months to June 30 to be between $100-$150m. They also confirmed a profit of $400m-$450m for the full year to December 31. CEO Hamish Tyrwhitt said “The deterioration of $148 million before tax for APL and $106 million before tax for VDP results in a quarterly loss for the three months to 31 March of $80 million after tax and minorities. Despite these losses, the portfolio of projects is performing well.” LEI is up 1.51% to 1954c.
  • Telstra (TLS) will purchase US$5.1m of satellite equipment and product bundles over the next 12 months from Beam Communications. TLS is up 1.12% to 360c.
  • Onesteel (OST) shareholders will vote at the company’s EGM to change the company name to Arrium. OST believes the name OneSteel no longer reflects what the company is today or its growth direction. The new name Arrium, reflects the company’s transition into a mining and materials group. OST is down 0.82% to 121.5c.
  • Phosphagenics (POH) has announced the sale of their Elixia skin care product and BodyShaper Cellulite Contour Crème throughout selected David Jones stores over the next 2 months.  Big positive for the company as they now have two large retail chains endorsing their products. POH is up 5.26% to 20c.
  • The federal government’s budget due out tonight, may affect a few companies. A scrapping of the diesel fuel rebate will have an impact on Whitehaven Coal (WHC), New Hope (NHC), Atlas Iron (AGO), Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) and OZ Minerals (OZL). FMG estimated the cost of a cut to the rebate to be between US$140m-US$150m a year or US$2 a tonne. AGO is vulnerable because it transports ore to port via truck. Wealth managers AMP, IOOF (IFL), Perpetual (PPT) and Platinum Asset Management (PTM) risk the tax rate on concessional superannuation contributions going up from the 15% to 30% for people earning over $300k.
  • The ABS international trade in goods and services data for March which showed a deficit of $1,587m. Economists had forecast a deficit of $1.2bn.

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