The market is down 5 points. The Dow Jones finished down 113. It was up two at best and down 135 at worst.

The S&P 500 closed down nine to 1685.

PPI at 0% was below expectations of +0.3% (no inflation pressure) suggesting tapering is more likely.

St Louis Fed Governor commentary from James Bullard backed other Fed Governor comments that a decision to taper had not yet been made and that it was data dependent.

European GDP numbers were positive and saw Europe emerge from recession after 18 months.

The MBA mortgage index fell 4.7%, the 12th fall in 14 numbers. The US Home construction ETF down 1.9% and down 6.6% this month.

Gold up $13.70 to $1333.

Iron ore up $1 to $142.80.

BHP up 0.58% in the US and RIO up 0.63% — BHP closed at the equivalent of 27c up on its close here yesterday.

A$ is up from a low of 88.48c last week to 91.27c but is down from a high of 92.21c on Monday.

Metals up. Nickel up 1.07% and copper up 0.58%.

US performers — Apple up another 1.8%. Gold miners ETF up 5.6%. Macy’s down 4.5% on poor results.

The Japanese market was up 1.32% yesterday. The Chinese market was down 0.29%.

European markets mostly up. UK down 0.37%.  

Oil price up 2c to $106.85 despite violence in Egypt.

US Economics tonight — Jobless Claims, CPI & Core CPI, Empire State Manufacturing index, Net Long-Term TIC Flows, Industrial Production, Capacity Utilization, Philadelphia Fed, NAHB Housing Market Index

In Europe tonight — UK retail sales.

ANNOUNCEMENTS & STORIES

  • Wesfarmers (WES) — WES have announced a capital return of 50c. Results just out are in line with NPAT of $2.261 billion against forecasts of $2.22 billion. Profit was up 6%. Dividend 103c per share. Coles profit was $1.53 billion +13%.
  • AMP Limited (AMP) — Has delivered a net profit of $393 million up 6%. Underlying Net profit of $440 million which was above an expected profit of $429 million. Interim dividend of 11.5c franked 70%. More importantly, CEO Craig Dunn will step down as CEO and will be replaced by Craig Meller. The market may welcome news of a change in leadership after AMP’s lacklustre share performance during Craig Dunn’s tenor.
  • Goodman Group (GMG) — Operating Net profit of $544.1 million up 17% and in line with consensus forecast. Financial year net profit was $16 million down 61%. Distribution 20.7c. They see financial year 2014 operating profit at $594 million.
  • Bank of Queensland (BOQ) — Market update — Will refund customers $35.4 million and incur addition costs of $11.5 million. Despite these one off costs, they expect profit to be at the top end of analyst’s consensus range of $339 million-$368 million.
  • Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) — Has announced the completion of a $US2.4 billion expansion of their port facilities in Port Hedland. It was completed on schedule and within budget. Another step towards the completion of their goal to produce 155 million tonnes per annum.
  • Rio Tinto (RIO) — A contractor at their Monglian Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold mine has laid off about 2,000 workers.
  • BHP Billiton (BHP 3690c) — Chilean workers have gone on strike at BHP’s Escondida copper mine over demands for an annual bonus and better working conditions.
  • CBA (7373c) — Boss Ian Narev has warned home owners from taking on too much debt because economic conditions remain challenging and risky. More on CBA in Trading Ideas.
  • Incitec Pivot (IPL 278c) — Has launched a $150 million bond offer, its first in the domestic bond market. It will be a 5 year raising with a maturity date of February 2019; margin of 215 basis points over the bank bill rate.

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Peter Fray
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