The market is down 17. SFE Futures were down 35 this morning.

Dow Jones down 101. The Dow was up 61 at best and down 102 at worst (closed on its low). US markets started the day well following momentum from Europe and responding to US housing and consumer confidence numbers, which came in better than expected (consumer confidence at a seven-month high).

US markets closed lower for the fourth day in a row — one explanation is that funds are profit-taking ahead of the quarter’s end (US bond yields flat). Healthcare stocks were the best performers (risk off) with Neogen up 7.1% after reporting mixed earnings.

After the European close the Philadelphia Federal Reserve president Charles Plosser expressed his doubts about the impact of the recently announced QE3 package saying the bond-buying program would not impact US economic growth warning that the Fed risked losing credibility.

A monthly report from the German Bundesbank questioned the role of the IMF (evolving into a bank beyond its mandate) and the ECB bond-buying program didn’t help. According to the IMF, the central banks of Turkey, Korea, Kazakhstan and Russia all increased their holdings of gold over the past month.

  • Lynas Corp (LYC) shares fell by 8.1% yesterday after a Malaysian court ordered the company halt commissioning of their LAMP refinery while an injunction application is heard on the company’s temporary operating licence awarded at the start of the month. This morning they announce they are re-negotiating covenants on $225 million of loans with Japanese creditors. LYC is down 5.66% to 75c.
  • Silex Systems (SLX) has announced that the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission has now issued a licence in regard to Global Laser Enrichment’s application to construct and operate a commercial SILEX Laser Uranium Enrichment Plant in Wilmington, North Carolina. SLX is up 6.61% to 403c.
  • Nathan Tinkler’s financial problems could hurt Whitehaven Coal shareholders (WHC) as rumours circulate that he may be considering dumping his stake in the company. He currently has a 21.4% stake in WHC and mounting debts. Patersons’ analyst Matthew Trivett said: “I think the short-term losers will probably be shareholders in Whitehaven because more than 20% of the company is at risk.” Stock down 10% in two weeks. WHC is down 1.2% to 287.5c.
  • Gunns (GNS), which went into voluntary administration yesterday, has thousands of investors with about $600 million in timber-growing schemes. Many of them are backed by loans that investors may have to continue paying even though they have nothing to show for the investment. A similar thing occurred with the collapse of Timbercorp and Great Southern agribusiness schemes.
  • Sundance Resources (SDL) — China Development Bank has signed off on financing for Hanlong’s proposed $1.37 billion takeover of SDL. The work is due to be completed within 10 working days and the deal to be finalised by late December, provided there are no more unexpected twists. SDL is up 2.27% to 33.75.

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