The market is down 7. The SFE Futures were unchanged this morning.

US markets were closed for the Independence Day holiday. All US market including bonds markets were closed. European markets were all down for the first time in four days; Italy was down 0.78%, Spain down 0.71%, Germany down 0.20% and France was down 0.11%. All markets saw very low volumes. Eurozone Non-Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index numbers were mixed with Germany and Great Britain missing their forecast. The European Central Bank interest rate decision tonight is now the focus with the ECB widely expected to cut rates to 0.75% (the lowest on record). The ECB is also expected to lower its deposit rate to as low to zero to encourage European banks to lend to each other and not sit their cash in the ECB. Metals on the LME were all down with Nickel down 2.12%, Lead down 1.7%, Aluminium down 1.35% and Copper down 1.23%. Oil was down 61c to $87.03. Gold was down $6.80 to $1615. ADRs were both up with BHP up 1.62% and RIO up 2.66%. The A$ is at 102.76c.

Main points:

  • Flight Centre (FLT) — Profit Upgrade — now expects FY profit to be between $285m-$290m up to 18% higher than the previous year. The company says they have not been affected by a slowdown in consumer spending. FLT is up 5.8% to 2040c.
  • Origin Energy (ORG) has begun a sale process for their $1bn+ stake in the $23bn QLD LNG project. The sale will prevent a dilutive capital raising that would have been needed otherwise. ORG is down 0.31% to 1271c.
  • BlueScope Steel (BSL) has agreed to pay $21.2m to the ATO as they wait for the decision on a dispute over tax they paid on an equipment deal in the 2007. The sum paid will be fully refundable if the assessment is overturned. BSL is down 3.08% to 31.5c.
  • Qantas (QAN) — An article in The AFR discusses the possibility of a Qantas takeover considering their recent share price fall which has left the company vulnerable. There is still some ‘activity’ on the bid front. QAN is up 3.15% to 113c.
  • Echo Entertainment (EGP) – Crown has told regulators they only want to increase their stake to 25%. The amendment will make it quicker for CWN to secure approval. EGP is up 0.12% to 433c.
  • David Jones (DJS) — The saga continues with ITG, a global broking house, being revealed as the most active broker during the DJS takeover hoax — but if the whole thing was for a trade in 700,000 QAN shares then its tin pot stuff. DJS is up 1.68% to 242c.
  • Gindalbie Metals (GBG) has hit a major hurdle in their plans to gain control of the Oakajee port and rail project. GBG is flat at 47c.
  • Macquarie Group (MQG) — The Chinese Guangdong government has made a surprise move by cutting toll rates for the Hua Nan Expressway which is 81% owned by the Macquarie Infrastructure Investment Fund. MQG is down 0.79% to 2627c.
  • Central Petroleum (CTP) has shipped their first load of crude oil from their Surprise discovery in NT. Patersons has a BUY recommendation with a 35c price target. CPT is flat at 10.5c.
  • The trade deficit was $285m in May. Economists had forecast a deficit of $500m.


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