The market is up 16. Our futures were down 13 this morning, with the Dow Jones down 6 on the third lowest volumes for 2013 after finishing up 52 on Thursday on the (relatively calm) reopening of Cypriot banks.
Worst sectors — industrials (-1.1%), technology (-1.0%), materials (-1.0%) and consumer discretionary (-0.8%).
Apple was down for the fourth consecutive day after its CEO was forced to apologise for the company’s iPhone warranty and repair policies in the Chinese market after criticism over customer service levels. Apple went into damage control, with it now offering full replacements of older Phones experiencing problems.
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European markets were closed for Easter Monday. Gold up $3.80 to $1598.60. Oil down 33c to $96.90.
RBA — The cash rate is expected to stay at 3%. Some 13 economists were surveyed prior to Easter and are expecting no change, after stronger-than-expected jobs data for February, and improvements in consumer sentiment and the housing market.
The AiG performance of manufacturing index fell 1.2 index points in March to 44.4 points. The index has been below the key 50 level, which separates expansion from contraction.
- Lynas (LYC) — Down 5.36% to 53c on no announcement. Was down as much as 12% earlier this morning.
- Billabong (BBG) — The two groups bidding for the takeover of BBG have lowered their bids at last Thursday’s deadline for final bids. They had initially proposed 110c a share each, but now analysts say the final bid could be 80c-90c for the stock which last traded at 73c.
- Nathan Tinkler’s Patinack Farm is officially on the market. The entire racing and breeding business, including stock and properties, is now on the market, with major international buyers tipped to be considering a total buy-out of the organisation.
- Resmed (RMD) — An article in The AFR says SomnoMed (SOM) is looking to steal market share from RMD after a study showed its sleep apnoea device could be as effective. SomnoMed has a market value of only $50 million compared with Resmed’s $6.3 billion. RMD is up 1.61% to 443c.
- Qantas (QAN) — Marked the official launch of its partnership with Emirates on Sunday with a spectacular tandem flyover of the Sydney Harbor Bridge by two Airbus A380s. QAN is up 1.82% to 181.75c.
- Newcrest Mining (NCM 2005c) — Finished down 8.32% on Thursday. NCM cut its production target by 10% due to ongoing challenges at its Lihir Gold operations. The company also announced executive changes. Gold production guidance has now been reduced to 2-2.15 million ounces for the 2013 financial year. NCM is up 0.3% to 2010c.