The market is up 8 (up 42 at best). The SFE Futures were down 8 this morning.

The Dow Jones fell 73. Dow was down 106 at worst and up 50 at best on the open. Facebook’s debut closed at the tiniest of premiums and smacks of a concerted support operation which cannot last if the market continues to tank. Financials and Resources led the US market down. Gold rallied $17. Metals mixed. Nickel down 2%. A$ holding at $98.23. Oil price approaching $90 at $91.48. BHP and RIO down in ADR form but on the currency BHP was set to open 30c higher today. Xstrata down 4.3% in the UK. G8 Meeting didn’t come up with much. There are headlines about Angela Merkel being isolated on austerity measures — everything is pointing towards a softening on austerity which may turn the markets if true. Greece would survive and the new French President be appeased although German stands firm at the moment. There are a number of Academics on the TV talking down the chances of austerity measures succeeding.

Main points:

  • James Hardie (JHX) delivered a better than expected full year operating profit of US$140.4m above analyst forecasts of US$138m. The result included a US$485.2 benefit from a legal victory against the ATO. Net sales were US$1.24bn up 6% from the previous year. Full year unfranked dividend of US42c. The company said operating earnings for the full year were solid. No guidance given.
  • National Australia Bank (NAB) has increased their subordinated notes offer from $500m to $1bn and has set the margin at 2.75%. The notes will pay a quarterly floating rate being the sum of the Bank Bill rate plus 2.75%. The offer opens today — the fall in the market could not have been timed better.
  • Orica (ORI) says their joint venture partners have signed off on an agreement to build an US$800m ammonium nitrate plant on the Burrup peninsula in WA’s Pilbara region. The plant will deliver 330,000 tons of products per year. Construction is scheduled for completion by the end of 2015. ORI will pay JV partners Yara and Apache US$110m on commencement of construction.
  • Elders Limited (ELD) delivered an interim profit of $40.5m which was boosted by a $34.4m tax payment from the ATO. Underlying profit was $6.1m down from $7.5m last year after a reduction in income from their Agricultural Land Trust investment. The result was also affected by flooding and cut backs to auto volumes.
  • Webjet (WEB) have announced the end of their share buyback.
  • Campbell Brothers (CPB) delivered a FY profit of $222.4m for the year to March 31 up from $132.4m. The result was slightly below an analyst forecast of $224m. CPB says the introduction of new technology and continued refurbishment of existing facilities will contribute to strong organic growth. Final dividend of 130 per share franked to 50%.

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