The market is down 15. The SFE Futures were up 8 this morning.

Dow Jones up 78 — The US market initially fell on the back of the Bernanke Testimony and was down 82 at worst and up 103 at best. The initial disappointment was on no new direction on quantitative easing, just a repetition of the being “ready to act if necessary” rhetoric. The comments included the line that the US economy had slowed significantly. The market then rallied as Bernanke called on Congress to take action before the arrival of the “fiscal cliff” towards the end of the year (tax increases and spending cuts) which could take trillions out of the economy. European markets mixed. UK down 0.59%, Germany up 0.18%, France down 0.09%, Spain up 0.4% (with the release of details of new austerity measures) and Italy down 0.94%. HSBC made the headlines with their compliance head resigning in front of US Senators at a payments hearing that revealed HSBC had been complicit in laundering billions of dollars. RIO didn’t react terribly well to the announcement of its quarterly production numbers overnight with the stock down 2.33% in the UK and 0.34% in the US. Iron ore production was flat with maintained production guidance although coal and copper production guidance was downgraded. Metals all down with Zinc the worst down 1.41%.

BHP Billiton (BHP) has released their 4th Q production numbers this morning including guidance a bit better than expected. Iron Ore production was up at a record for the 12th Q on the trot up +15% to 40.89mt for the three month to June (2Q). The FY12 Iron Ore output was up +19% (159.478mt) on the previous 12 months. Shipments out of port headland were at a record high and the petroleum production was also impressive coming in +40% above last year. BHP expects FY13 production to be up +5% on FY12 in line with earlier guidance. Copper production in line, down 4% for the year but up 15% on the Q. Coal a bit below expectations up 1% on the Q and 2% on the year. Petroleum up 30% on the Q and 40% on the year with reaffirmed production guidance. Aluminium production down 21% on the year and 10% on the Q. BHP is down 1.9% to 3021c.

  • Commonwealth Bank (CBA) has introduced an executive pay freeze on salaries over $150,000. CBA is up 0.84% to 5536c.
  • Seven West Media (SWM) — Institutional shareholders have taken up 92% of the recent rights offer. The $440m 1 for 2 rights issue is at 132c per share an 18.5% discount and at that price is pretty much a take it or miss out situation.
  • Bank of Queensland (BOQ) Moody’s credit rating agency has downgraded BOQ to a Baa1 from an A3 due to the poor property market and economy in QLD. BOQ is up 0.59% to 685c.
  • Fortescue Metals (FMG) — After production numbers yesterday seven brokers have a BUY or outperform recommendation today except one that has downgraded to a HOLD. FMG down 3.4% to 438c today as Patersons downgrade their target price to 649c from 707c but retain a BUY as well.
  • RIO – After Production numbers yesterday seven brokers have a BUY or outperform recommendation with the average target price 60% above market.  RIO down 3.1% to 5275c this morning.
  • Woolworths (WOW)2nd Q sales numbers due out today. WOW down 9c to 2701c.

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