The market is up 15. SFE futures were up 11 this morning.

US market up 62. The Dow closed on its high of the day and was down 27 at worst on weaker than expected economic numbers and Info Tech company 4Q earnings. US YonY existing home sales were down 1% to a 4.94 million in December which was below the forecast of 5.1 million and the Richmond Federal Reserve index fell from +5 to -12 in January. Google’s 4Q earnings came in at 1065c per share which was slightly above the forecast of 1050c. Google was up 4.03% to $730.77 after hours. IBM also released better than expected 4Q earnings after market, IBM was up 3.00% to $201.97 after hours. Best sectors — Basic Materials (+1.1%), Energy (+0.9%) and Financials (+0.9%).Worst sectors — Consumer Goods (-0.1%). Metals mixed — Copper up 0.94%, Nickel down 0.15%, Aluminium up 1.72%, Lead up 0.81%.Spot iron ore was unchanged at $145.90. European markets mixed — UK FTSE down 0.03%, German DAX down 0.68%, France down 0.59%, Spain down 0.39%, Italy up 0.48% and Greece up 2.41%. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index was down slightly with Energy (+0.2%) and Industrials (+0.1%), Utilities (-0.6%), Financials (-0.6%) and Telecoms (-0.6%).

The CPI Number today was below expectations (good) with the headline at +0.2% for the December Q after a 1.4% jump in the September Q. Annual inflation at 2.2% which is well within the RBA’s 2-3% band and below the consensus forecast of 2.5%. Underlying it was up 0.55% for an annual rate of 2.3%. This was below the 0.7% expected. This raises the prospect of a rate cut at the RBA Meeting on February 5 and the market rallied a bit on the announcement and the A$ has fallen (on the prospect of lower interest rates).

  • BHP Billiton (BHP) — Production numbers beat expectations and look likely to lead to some upgrades. BHP is up 1.23% to 3703c.
  • The Westpac/Melbourne Institute Leading Index was 3.9% in November.
  • Boral Holdings (BLD) — Profit Upgrade — first H Trading update — Had better than expected performance in 2nd Q. Upgrades H1 profit forecast from $35 million to $52 million. BLD is flat at 489c.
  • St Barbara (SBM) — Production numbers — Reiterates FY13 gold output guidance. SMB is up 6.55% to 154.5c.
  • Nufarm (NUF) — Profit warning — Australian conditions “more challenging than expected” but thanks to global business their half year guidance of 15% growth is maintained. NUF is down 8.21% to 581c.
  • RCR Tomlinson (RCR) — Earnings upgrade for the 1st H of FY13. RCR is up 2.28% to 224c.
  • Kingsgate Consolidated (KCN) — Sale of WA and QLD exploration assets. KCN is up 1.02% to 496c.
  • PanAust (PNA) — Refinances $US275 million in debt facilities. Loans to be used for Laos copper project. PNA is up 1.51% to 337c.
  • Resolute (RSG) up 6.4% on production numbers.

Peter Fray

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