The market is down 42. The SFE Futures were down 19 this morning.

The Dow Jones closed down 2 — up 71 at best and down 57 at worst. Market up for much of the session after strong US housing data but gains were lost in the last half hour on talk that Greece was preparing for an exit from the euro and as the OECD downgraded eurozone growth to almost zero. Technology one of the worst performers with Facebook down another 8.9% to $31. It is now 18% off its issue price in two days.  Gold was down $21.50. Metals mixed with nickel down 1.97%. A$ down a touch at $97.89. Oil was up 91c to $91.66. ADR’s were mixed with BHP down 1.38% and RIO up 0.48%. BHP closed the equivalent of 12c higher than last night’s close in Australia. US bonds down. Main European market were up for the second session (Italy up 3.4%) with Chinese media talking about Europe and China using stimulus measures to foster economic growth.

Main points:

  • All eyes are on an informal meeting of EU Finance ministers in Brussels tonight to explore the option of using growth rather than austerity to solve the debt crisis. We really need to see if the Germans are going to insist the Greeks stick to their earlier bailout agreement – the signs are that they will — in which case this meeting could cut either way.
  • We also have the HSBC Chinese Flash PMI number today which could send resources in either direction.
  • Myer (MYR) released their 3rd Q sales figures which fell 0.9% to $651.1m in the 13 weeks to April 28. Like for like sales were down 2.1% on a deterioration in trading conditions and weak consumer sentiment. On the positive the company’s online sales continues to grow at over 200% compared to last year and improvements to the company website continue. MYR also downgraded earnings guidance – FY12 profit to be no worse than 15% (down from 10%) below FY11 profit of $162.7m (no worse than $141.5m).
  • Iluka Resources (ILU) said at their AGM today that they expect earnings to rise in 2012 despite weakening Zircon demand. The company still expects an increase in earnings and will keep a cash buffer until volatile markets subside.
  • Coalspur (CPL) announced a significant increase at their Vista South coal reserve. An increase of 404% in Measured & Indicated coal resource lifting the resource from 93Mt to 471Mt. The increase confirms the potential for Vista South to be a future mining operation.
  • The Westpac/Melb Institute released their Leading Index which shows an improvement in economic outlook but it is still below average. The index was +2.2% in March below the long term trend of +2.9%. WBC expects the RBA to cut rates by 0.5% over the next 3 months bringing the cash rate down to 3.25%.
  • Brambles (BXB) says they are still in negotiations over the divestment of their Recall information management business but have been unable to reach an outcome by the indicated timeframe of 4-8 weeks from March 28.

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