The market is down 26. The SFE Futures were up 15 this morning.

Dow Jones down 13. The Dow was up 40 at best and down 92 at worst. US markets were flat post the Federal Reserves Open Market Committee’s (FOMC) statement which included no QE3 announcement although Operation Twist was extended and will now continue until the end of 2012. GDP forecasts were revised down to 1.9% – 2.4% from 2.4% – 2.9% along with the unemployment forecast that was raised to 8.2% from 8.0%. Interest rates unchanged at 0.25% as expected. The Fed described the economy as “expanding moderately” and that growth will be “very gradual”. Metals were mostly down on the LME with Zinc down 2.04% and Aluminium down 1.11%. Oil was down $2.23 to $81.80 (8 month low). Gold was down $15.30 to $1607.90. ADRs were mixed with BHP down 0.42% and RIO up 0.67%. BHP should open up 11c on our market close yesterday. The A$ is at 101.91c.

Main points:

  • The audit of Spanish banks is tonight which may declare that they don’t need the €100bn they have available from the EU.
  • We have an HSBC Flash Chinese Manufacturing PMI number today at 12.30pm. The prior number was 48.4. The market is more susceptible to good news than bad news… any relief in the perception of slowing growth will be well received.
  • The RBA Bulletin is out today. Think we’ve heard it all already.
  • Billabong (BBG) has gone into trading halt pending a $225m capital raising. Another capital raising – follows BXB, AGK, TEN, SXY, SEK. It will not be the last. They money is simply to pay off debt. They have also included a profit warning (another). The issue is at 102c, a 44% (!) discount to market. BBG is in trading halt at 183c.
  • Consolidated Media Holdings (CMJ) — The takeover offer by News Corp looks likely to be given the all clear by regulators. Price at 338c versus a bid at 350c suggests a higher bid is not expected. CMJ is unchanged on 338c.
  • Rio Tinto (RIO) says they will look to invest US$4.2bn to expand their iron ore operations in WA’s Pilbara region despite other major miners saying they would hold back on spending. Mining services bulls are waving their flags on the back of it but the sector is down today. RIO is down 0.12% to 5763c.
  • Metcash (MTS) expects to post a 5% rise in FY earnings and will exercise their option to take full control of hardware chain Mitre 10. MTS is down 1.31% to 377c.
  • News Corp (NWS) — Lots of press about the press after News Corp make moves on CMJ and AIBM and as Fairfax journalists fight for the right to write what they think rather than what Gina thinks.
  • Sydney Airport (SYD) says passenger numbers were slightly higher last month as budget Asian airlines such as AirAsia X and Scoot helped increase travel to Asian markets.
  • Coal price falling — The Capital Economics economist says the coal price is going down not up with weak economic growth, rising supply, a boom in gas and a falling oil price seeing the coal price down to US$70 a ton by the end of the year from US$86 now
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