The market is up 10 points. The Dow Jones finished down 73 on Friday on low volume. It was up nine at best and down 152 at worst. It is down 233 points in the last week. The S&P 500 closed down six to 1691.

The talk in the US is of a September tapering announcement after a series of hints from fed members and after stronger than expected economic numbers last week including the ISM services index, initial jobless claims and trade numbers.

St. Louis Fed chief James Bullard toned down the tapering timetable saying the Fed needed to see more data.

Resources are rallying as is the A$ on the back of the Chinese trade data last week and Friday’s stronger than expected industrial production numbers.

BHP up 2.61% in the US and RIO up 5.02% — RIO had results last week that were if anything a bit flat. BHP closed at the equivalent of 90c up on its close here on Friday.

A$ is up from a low of 88.48c last week to 91.90c.

Metal prices down. Nickel and Zinc down over 2%.

US 10 year bond yield down one basis point to 2.581%.

Gold up $3.90 to $1314.

Wholesale inventories came in at below expectations.

The Japanese market was up 0.07% on Friday. The Chinese market was up 0.36%.

Japanese debt is now more than a quadrillion Yen for the first time ever.

European markets up — the UK FTSE up 0.82%, the German Dax up 0.24%, the French CAC up 0.30% with Spain up 0.73%, Italy up 0.23%, Greece up 0.87%.

Oil price up $2.63 to $106.03.

Spot iron ore was unchanged at $133.10.

US Economics on Friday — Wholesale Inventories: Actual -0.2%, consensus 0.4%, prior -0.5% (revised -0.6%)

US Economics tonight — Treasury Budget.

ANNOUNCEMENTS & STORIES

  • UGL — De-merger done. Financial year net profit down 73% to $36.47 million, revenue $3.82 billion down 14.3%.Underlying profit was $92.1 million above an expected $90 million. UGL will proceed with a de-merger of their engineering and property businesses as soon as possible. Net profit was weighed down by $55.6 million of costs associated with the restructuring, the re-branding of DTZ, the amortisation of acquired intangibles, and there was a gain on the sale of property. Fully-franked final dividend of 5c. Total fully-franked dividend of 39c. They expect the 2014 financial year underlying net profit of $120 million-$130 million.
  • Newcrest — Underlying profit of $451 million was below a consensus forecast of $485 million. Financial year mining loss of $5.77 billion. The company reiterated 2014 financial year copper output guidance of 75,000-85,000 tonnes and gold output guidance of AU$2-2.3 million. This was the biggest annual loss in the company’s history after a sharp fall in the price of gold forced them to write down the value of their mines and investments by $6.23 billion. They also scrapped their final dividend to conserve cash. They didn’t say when they are likely to reinstate dividends.
  • GPT Group (GPT) — profit result of $224.1 million above an expected $219 million.
  • James Hardie (JHX) — first quarter operating profit of US$52 million up 19% and slightly above broker consensus of $50.5 million. The company said they will consider unusually large 2014 financial year dividend payments.
  • JB Hi-Fi (JBH) — Net profit was $116.4 million up 11.22% and above broker consensus of $114.4 million. Revenue was $3.308 billion up 5.77%. They expect further growth in the consumer electronics market and increased sales in the coming year. Fully-franked final dividend of 22c payable on September 6 to shareholders on the register at August 23. Total dividend of 72c.

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Peter Fray
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