The market is up 1. The SFE Futures were up 13 this morning.

The Dow Jones closed down 6 — up 12 at best and down 185 at worst. US house prices rose 0.6% in the March quarter and 2.7% on a year ago. US markets saw a late rally after early falls mirroring European market fears of a Greek exit from the euro and disappointing earnings numbers from Dell then bounced rapidly on no obvious news — the rally has been described as little more than a technical bounce. The “informal” European Union summit meeting has finished and judging from the press conferences afterwards has made little progress with new attendee Hollande expressing some surprise at how 27 countries who have to respect each other’s sovereignty could ever come to a conclusion. Metals were all down with Copper the worst down 2.68%. The Australian dollar fell to a new 6 month low buying $97.49.

Main points:

  • AGL Energy (AGK) announced a $900m institutional & retail entitlement offer to proceed with the acquisition of Loy Yang A power station and adjacent coal mine which was approved by ACCC. The offer is a 1:6 pro rata renounceable entitlement offer at 1160c per new share. This represents a 22.3% discount to the pre-bid price. The company also reaffirmed 2012 profit guidance of $470m-$500m and expects to pay a final dividend. To be eligible, shareholders must hold AGK shares as at 7pm Tuesday 29 May. Retail closing date is 5pm Tuesday 19 June. AGK is in trading halt. AGK is in trading halt.
  • BHP Billiton (BHP) coalminers have started a week-long strike in QLD’s Bowen Basin over work conditions. More than 3,000 workers began the strike this morning and have halted production at six mines run by BHP-Mitsubishi Alliance until work conditions are met. BHP is also planning a benchmark-size, two-part €1.25bn bond maturing in 2018.
  • Origin Energy (ORG) says they have secured US$8.5bn in project finance from lenders for their joint venture with ConocoPhillips and Sinopec. These lenders include Australia’s big 4 banks and various other offshore banks including HSBC and Mizuho. ORG notes the US$14bn foundation stage of the APLNG JV in QLD is on track for completion by 2015.
  • Sundance Resources (SDL) has signed an agreement with China’s Hanlong Group bringing it a step closer to finalising the $1.7bn takeover deal. SDL has simplified the timetable for the deal and hopes it will be completed by November. The company has accepted a 57c share offer from Hanlong but regulatory and shareholder approval is still required.  
  • Foxtel has completed a $2bn takeover of Austar. Foxtel says they will not change billing procedures or pricing for customers of either service. Business will be as usual for all customers. The company intends to bring the Foxtel and Austar platforms together over the coming months. Foxtel is half owned by Telstra (TLS) with the remainder equally spilt by News Corp (NWS) and Consolidate Media (CMJ).
  • HSBC Chinese Flash PMI numbers out 2.30pm today which could send resources in either direction.

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