Nov 15, 2012

The market is down 36. SFE Futures were down 185 this morning. Dow Jones down 185. The Dow was up 42 at best and down 214 at worst. US markets were off to a good start despite retail sales coming in below forecasts. The Dow then tracked down all day. The FOMC meeting minutes were released at around 2pm, which then led the Dow down a further 132 points. The minutes saw a number of board members suggesting the Federal Reserve needs to step up its bond purchases -- US bond yields down and gold up slightly. Worst US sectors -- Industrials (-2.3%), Financials (-1.8%) and Basic Materials (-1.8%). European markets mixed -- UK FTSE down 1.11%, German DAX down 0.94%, France down 0.89%, Spain down 0.27%, Italy down 0.52% and Greece up 2.45%. Austerity measure concerns overshadowed some better-than-expected company results. Strikes in Spain and Portugal shut transport links across the Iberian Peninsula. The Stoxx Europe 600 index down 0.9% with Energy (-1.3%) and Basic Materials (-1.3%), Utilities (+0.2%) and Technology (+0.2%). Metals mixed -- Copper down 0.56%, Nickel up 0.64%, Aluminium down 0.94% and Lead up 0.97%.
  • GrainCorp -- FY result in line, takeover offer rejected -- GNC has rejected a takeover bid by ADM and deemed it as too low and undervalues the company. GNC is up 0.25% to 1221c.
  • Wesfarmers -- AGM -- Comparable food and liquor sales in the 13 weeks to September 23 were up by 3.7% on the year. MD Richard Goyder said: "we are hopeful for a positive trading outcome in the retail businesses during the important Christmas period." WES is up 1.31% to 3438c.
  • Fortescue Metals Group -- AGM -- Reassured shareholders that the outlook for Chinese iron ore was strong, after a challenging year of heavy falls in stock value and commodity prices. With the iron ore price above $US120 a tonne, FMG is comfortably profitable and considering increasing capacity to 155 million tonnes a year from 64mtpa. FMG is down 1.25% to 395.
  • Asciano -- AGM -- Export volumes at their Pacific National Coal unit rose 9% in the three months to September 30 even though there was weaker Asian export demand for coking coal. AIO is up 0.36% to 419c.
  • James Hardie -- First half profit fell 35% to $US83.5 million in the six months to September 30 down from $US128.4 million. JHX is down 1.34% to 885c.
  • Lynas Corp -- Expects to begin processing at their Malaysian plant by the end of the year. The High Court dismissed a new request by activists opposed the facility to suspend their temporary operating license. LYC is down 7.63% to 60c.
  • Myer Holdings -- 1st Q sales went up by 1% compared with a year earlier, as interest rate cuts encouraged consumer spending. Sales were $688m. MYR is up 5.5% to 211c.
  • Qantas Airways -- Says first half profit would be unchanged but announce a $100m buyback and are repaying $650m in debt ahead of the due date. QAN is up 4.88% to 129c
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