Dow Jones closed down 24. SFE Futures up 8. We are having a strong day in the market again today, up 38 at midday. The Dow was down 66 at worst. No big surprises in their economic numbers. The US CPI number came in unchanged at 1.7% for December, US industrial production was up 0.3% for December and net capital inflows into the US were US$27.8 billion for November. Spot iron ore down $7.50 to $145.40. The latest US beige book survey said “from the twelve Federal Reserve Districts economic activity has expanded since the last report (eight reports per year), all twelve Districts are showing growth of either modest or moderate”. Best sectors — technology (Apple up 4.15%), energy. Worst sectors — materials, telecom services, industrials, utilities. Goldman Sachs (+1.92%) and JP Morgan (+1.01%) after both released better than expected earnings numbers. European markets mixed — UK FTSE down 0.22%, German DAX up 0.20%, France up 0.30%, Spain down 0.23%, Italy down 0.73%. Metals mixed — copper down 0.59%, nickel down 0.57%, aluminium down 0.37% and zinc down 0.70%. Commodities down on the World Bank growth downgrades.
Iluka (ILU) — Production numbers — total zircon and rutile production volumes fell from 1,168.5 thousand tonnes in 2011 to 811.8 thousand tonnes down 30.5%. ILU is up 7.40% to 1007c.
Santos (STO) — Production numbers OK — Santos is on track to meet their 2013 production forecast after reporting a 10% rise in production in 2012. Production of 52.1 million barrels of oil equivalent from 47.2 million barrels of oil equivalent in 2011. STO is up 1.55% to 1182ca.
Qantas Airways (QAN) – The alliance between Qantas and Emirates has received an interim approval by the ACCC to begin preparations for their tie-up ahead of a final ruling expected in March. QAN is down 0.16% to 153c.
Leighton Holdings (LEI) — Has won a $90 million three-year contract with Telstra to carry out work to prepare Telstra’s pits and pipes in two states for the NBN. LEI is down 0.52% to 1910c.
Woodside Petroleum (WPL) — Production report OK — Revenue in the 12 months to December 31 was up 30% to $6.2 billion from $4.8 billion in 2011. Production in 2012 was 84.9 million barrels of oil equivalent up 31% from 64.6 million barrels of oil equivalent in 2011 and within their previously issued guidance. WPL is up 0.71% to 3545c.
Paladin Energy (PDN) has released their December quarter activities report. Production came in at 2.191mlb which was 13.6% above the September Quarter and 4% above Paterson’s forecast of 2.106mlb. PDN is up 4.33% 120c.
Australian unemployment rate rose to 5.4% which was as expected and up from 5.3% in November. Total employment fell 5,500 to 11.539 million in the month.
Astro Japan (AJA) taking advantage of the recent enthusiasm for everything Japanese by raising $25.4 million in an institutional placement