The market is up 11. The SFE Futures were up 24 this morning.

Dow Jones up 156 — up 202 at best. Wall St (perversely) up on weak economic numbers (CPI fell for the first time in two years and Initial jobless claims were up) prompting continued speculation that the US will introduce another round of Quantitative Easing at the FOMC meeting next week to stimulate growth and rescue the US’s fading economic recovery.

Also driving the markets was a Reuters article saying they have had it confirmed that European Central Banks have formulated a plan to pump money into the credit markets if the Greek election at the weekend goes to the anti austerity Syriza Party.

The news came out after the European market close. Metal prices were mixed on the LME with Lead up 1.14%, Zinc up 1.00% and Copper up 0.40%. Oil was up $1.77 to $84.39. Gold was up $5 to $1624.40. BHP and RIO ADRs were both up 0.59% and 0.72%. BHP is set to open 10c lower on our market today. The A$ is at 100.19c.

Main points:

  • The Greek Election this weekend overhangs the market – there are a few possible outcomes including no clear winner. The Greek market was up 10% overnight on expectations that the New Democracy coalition will win. A Syriza party win is still unlikely to cause a Greek exit from the euro and will instead start a negotiation with the EU over austerity and the bailout. Either way the worst case disaster scenario is probably unlikely.
  • Echo Entertainment (EGP) announces details of its $454m capital raising and includes a profit warning. The share issue is at a 27% discount to the pre-offer price of 449c. Funds raised will be used to reduce debt, maintain a healthy balance sheet and provide ‘working capital’. EGP is in trading halt until Monday.
  • Fairfax (FXJ) – Lots of press about Gina Rinehart buying more stock. Now has 15%. May go to 19.9%. Trying to get a board seat. Bid seems unlikely. FXJ is up 0.83% to 60.5c.
  • BHP Billiton (BHP) — A Financial Times article says BHP has reduced commodity price forecasts raising concerns that the company will cancel or delay mining projects. With BHP predicting falling commodity prices and slowing demand it looks like that the mining boom has peaked. BHP is down 0.69% to 3158c.
  • ERA has approved a $57m pre-feasibility study on their proposed underground mine at their Ranger project in NT. ERA is down 1.26% to 118c.
  • Perpetual Limited (PPT) – Bid talk after the 9.8% share price jump yesterday. PPT is down 2.69% to 2315c.
  • Hastie – Doesn’t look like equity holders are going to get anything after creditors are paid.
  • Retail Sector — Bernie Brookes (Myer CEO) gives a gloomy outlook speech saying he expects growth below 3% for the next few years. 
  • Coalworks (CWK) has recommended shareholders accept an   improved takeover offer from Whitehaven Coal (WHC) that will  now increase the offer from $142m to $145.6m.           
  • Bluescope Steel (BSL) — Broker downgrades. ROE of 5.4%.
  • Qantas (QAN) — Brokers upgrading recommendations after the recent price fall and takeover talk.

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