The market is down one point. Dow Jones was up 35. It was up 60 at best. Very low volume ahead of the FOMC decision.

S&P 500 was up seven to 1705. CPI numbers a touch below expectations. The NAHB Housing Market index marginally below expectations.

US 10 year bond yield down two basis points to 2.853%.

The oil price fell 1.1%. Deutsche Bank says that whilst the potential for a military strike against Syria has eased a supply problem still prevails in Libya.

A$ up again to 93.57c. The Euro up for the 6th day on the trot and the GBP up for the 10th time in 12 sessions as the US$ continues to fade on tapering expectations.

FOMC Meeting in progress — two day meeting — the statement will be out tomorrow morning 4am our time followed by a Bernanke press conference half an hour later.

Microsoft up 0.39% on the back of a 22% lift in its dividend and the announcement of a new share buyback. Apple up 1.2%, Facebook up 6.02%.

BHP was up 0.37% in the US overnight. The stock closed in the US down 9c on the close yesterday. RIO was up 0.10% in the US.

Gold down $8. The gold price was down 5.62% last week. India increased its duty on gold imports by 15%.

Iron ore price down $3.00 to $131.10.

European markets quiet. Mostly down. Better than expected eurozone and German ZEW Economic sentiment surveys didn’t help.

Metals mostly down small.


  • Market wary ahead of the FOMC decision and Bernanke press conference tonight. Low volumes in the US last night. The extent of the tapering is the main debate rather than whether they will taper. We are expecting a decision that details the size of asset purchase reductions in Treasuries (bonds) and separately in MBS (Mortgages Backed Securities). The MBS buying is expected to remain unchanged and the bond buying cut back by $10-12 billion a month. Commentary on the timetable for the end of quantitative easing altogether and the factors that feed into that decision will be of obvious interest. Some economists suggesting the Fed may announce nothing … no tapering.
  • The newswires note the market is on an all-time high as the government announces the end of quantitative easing and only sits there because of quantitative easing.
  • RBA Minutes yesterday didn’t say anything unexpected. They talked about an economy growing below trend, no pick up in non-mining investment and suggest the RBA retains an easing bias leaving brokers still looking for another rate cut this year.
  • US$ down — A$ up again to 93.57c. The Euro was up for the 6th day on the trot and the GBP up for the 10th time in 12 sessions as the US$ continues to fade on tapering expectations. HSBC says the rising Aussie dollar could push the RBA look to lower rates again although the RBA will have to balance that against the potential impact on the housing market. They say an increase in the dollar is not as bad if it is accompanied by rising growth in Australia’s major trading partners and rising commodity prices.
  • Gold down again. The gold price is now down 8% from a recent high of $1423 to $1309 … it was down 5.62% last week. India has doubled its duty on gold jewelry imports to 15%.
  • Nexus Energy (NXS) — Financial year profit of $17.5 million up 105%. Net debt $134.7 million. Revenue of $52 million down 36%.
  • Sirius Resources NL (SIR) — Has announced their Nova-Bollinger Scoping Study.  Key points — Underground production estimated to commence in mid-2016 with a 10 year mine life at 1.5mtpa throughput producing 28kt Ni and 11kt Cu in concentrate per annum. The scoping study has demonstrated the potential for a high margin-low cost Ni-Cu project at Nova-Bollinger. Patersons have a Speculative Buy rating.
  • WorleyParsons (WOR 2303c) — JP Morgan has a Lighten recommendation with target price of 1904c. WOR is due to hold their AGM in October. They say management will most likely reaffirm guidance. They think the company is well positioned in the longer term to benefit from the large pipeline of work but there are short term hurdles. Near term risks are not being fully factored in. UGL (825c) — JP Morgan have an Accumulate recommendation with target price of 846c. The surprise announcement of a new CEO for DTZ (property services business) came as a surprise. They say this is a small step towards the DTZ demerger which is at least 12 months away. Underlying conditions for DTZ remain favourable …

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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