The market is up 24, bouncing from its 105-point fall yesterday. Our Futures were up 37 this morning, with the Dow Jones down 62 last night on below average volume pulling back from its all-time high for the second consecutive session. The Dow was up 7 at best and down 110 at worst. The FOMC meeting starts in the US tonight.
European markets down — UK FTSE down 0.49%, German DAX down 0.40%, France down 0.48%, Spain down 1.29%, Italy down 0.85%.
The Cypriot Parliament has delayed the vote on the bailout package, which calls for a “stability levy” to be imposed on all bank deposits. A vote on the deal was scheduled for last night in Europe but was pushed back until tonight, and is now delayed even further. According to Central Bank of Cyprus-compiled data, Cypriot banks had 68.4 billion euros of deposits on their books at the end of January from clients other than banks. Of that, 21 billion euros (30%+) were from clients outside the EU group of countries (a lot of Russians deposit money there, and there are a lot of expat retirees in the country).
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The US National Association of Home Builders sentiment index disappointed — it was down from 46 to a five-month low of 44 in March, which missed the forecast of 46.
There was talk on Wall St that Apple could lift its dividend by more than half to over 400c per share. Apple finished up 2.92% after closing up 2.6% on Friday in the US.
Metals down — copper down 2.36%, nickel down 1.78%, zinc down 1.81%, aluminium down 1.55%. Spot iron ore unchanged at $134.60. Gold price up $11.50 on the back of the Cypriot bailout issues.
VIX (Volatility Index) up over 20.0%. The volatility measure is back to levels last seen at the beginning of the month after sliding to multi-year lows in recent days.
Best sectors — telecoms (+0.1%).
- The RBA minutes are out — they talk about previous rate cuts helping the economy but that further rate cuts may be needed as GDP remains a little below its long-term trend but is expected to pick up. Inflation to remain in the middle of the 2-3% target band. The minutes say the recovery in the iron ore price is likely to be temporary.
- TPG Telecom (TPM) — NPAT up 41% to $78.3 million, which was better than expected. Guidance and dividend increased. TPM is up 5.22% to 282c.
- New Hope Corp (NHC) — Interim profit fell 32% to $68.8 million, down from $101.1 million, and the company expects weak coal prices and the strong Australian dollar to reduce revenue in the second half. NHC is up 3.4% to 395c.
- Breville Group (BRG) — The Keurig distribution Agreement for Canada will end after June 30, 2013. BRG is up 2.82% to 547c.
- Sundance Resources (SDL) — Has gone into trading halt pending an announcement on the Hanlong takeover deal.
- The FOMC meeting starts in the US tonight.
- The Gillard government is losing support from senior ministers who are reconsidering their support for the Prime Minister. One Labor MP quoted on the front of The AFR talking about the media reforms says: “Our brilliant strategy to distract people from the good news about jobs is working a treat.”