The market is up 22 but on just $870 million worth of trade so far, which is very low. SFE Futures were up 11 this morning.

Dow Jones up 81. The Dow was up 100 at best. US markets were up on better than expected local economic data. Factory orders came in just under expectations, down 5.2% in August (worst reading since January 2009) on the back of a slump in aircraft orders (volatile series). Initial jobless claims were up 4000 and a little bit better than expected in the final week of September. Markets are sill waiting for September non-farm payrolls numbers due out tonight in the US (Bloomberg consensus forecast: +115,000). The Federal Open Market Committee minutes highlighted some Fed governors questioning the efficacy of introducing QE3. More generally they suggested that economic activity continued to increase at a moderate pace in recent months. Jobs numbers tonight. The ECB left rates unchanged at 0.75%, which was broadly expected. Some expect a final 0.25% rate cut in 2013. ECB President Draghi said in a press conference that the ECB has a “fully effective backstop mechanism in place” to implement the bond-buying plan and appeared to be prompting Spain to take advantage of it by asking for a bailout. Spanish bank Bankia down 3.34%.

Metals mixed — copper up 0.12%, nickel up 0.83%, aluminium up 0.65% and zinc down 0.89%. The spot iron ore price unchanged at $104.20.

  • Woolworths (WOW.AU) has announced the demerger of its shopping centres worth $1.4 billion into a separately listed company called the Shopping Centres Australasia Property Group. Each Woolworths shareholder will get one stapled security in the newly created REIT for every five WOW shares they own. They expect to raise between $425 million-$506 million. WOW is up 1.5% to 2969c.
  • The Bank of Queensland (BOQ) has given a market update and is set to post a FY loss after uncovering $10 million in outstanding items in the second half. BOQ posted a first half loss of $90.6 million and now expects to make a profit of $70 million-$75 million in the second half. This will result in a FY loss of between $20.6 million-$15.6 million. BOQ is down 3.64% to 767c.
  • Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) board member Ken Ambrecht will retire ending his nine-year career with the company. FMG is up 2.03% to 352c.
  • Telstra (TLS) board member Timothy Chen has resigned after just six months in the job to return to China to a full-time executive career. TLS is up 0.13% to 394c.
  • CBA has approved changes to its dividend reinvestment plan. To be eligible to elect to participate in the DRP shareholders must now have a registered address either in Australia, New Zealand or the United Kingdom. CBA is flat at 5655c.
  • Origin Energy Limited (ORG) has announced the successful execution of a $2.4 billion syndicated bank loan facility. The loan facility has terms of four and five years and will mature in October 2016 and October 2017. ORG is up 0.52% to 1164c.
  • The AIG performance of construction index (PCI) fell to 30.9 in September from 32.2 the month before.
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