The market is up 16 points. Dow Jones was up 55 breaking a run of five falls on the trot that added up to 403 points. The Dow was up 114 at best. The S&P 500 is just failing to break 1700. The financial sector is down 3.5% since the FOMC meeting last week.
Debt ceiling negotiations continue to be the focus. We seem to have moved on from the tapering debate, or have at least been distracted from it. No concessions on either side of the debt ceiling debate overnight.
One Fed Governor Kocherlakota said overnight that the Fed must “do whatever it takes” including increasing stimulus in order to get unemployment down. He seems to have stolen the line from Mario Draghi who has promised the same thing for the Eurozone.
Weekly jobless numbers got over their computer glitch affectation and came in better than expected at 305,000 jobless claims against expectations for 325,000.
BHP and RIO up 0.31% and 0.62% in the US overnight but thanks to the currency BHP is down 16c equivalent on the close here last night.
The A$ up a touch at 93.65c. It does seem to have found a new base around resistance at 93c.
Metal prices mostly down but not by a lot.
Gold lost some of yesterday’s rebound falling $12.30 overnight.
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European markets mixed and nothing moved much.
The US 10 year bond yield fell yet again (bonds up) a further sign that the bond market is doubting the US economic recovery, anticipating a lower level of tapering than previously expected and that investors are favouring defensive “risk off” asset classes over cyclicals and growth.
Pending home sales were down 1.6% but came in ahead of the consensus for a 2.3% fall.
The third estimate of second quarter GDP came in at +2.5% unchanged from the second estimate but below the consensus for a revision to +2.6% — the Fed are looking for an improvement in jobs and the housing market to trigger tapering.
RESULTS & STORIES
- G8 Education (GEM) — Trading halt — Has announced a $60.1 million equity raising at 310c a share (7.2%) discount to the last traded price. The funds are to be used to fund the acquisition of 29 premium childcare and education centres.
- NAB — Yesterday opened their first smart store in Melbourne which utilises self-serve technology similar to that used in Coles or Woolworths. The store will have automated teller machines that can process deposits and withdrawals. Branch staff will be reduced by about 25%. The bank has only 749 branches which is the smallest network of the top four.
- WBC’s currency strategist says the Aussie dollar will go lower on the back of US debt ceiling and budget concerns.
- ANZ has downplayed concerns that there is a property bubble. They have said that recent worries are “overstated” and that there is a two year shortfall of new homes in the system to match demand. But they say tougher lending rules could be an option if prices sky rocket.
- Share buybacks that are active — FOX, QAN, SIP, WDC, WRT
- Mirabela (MBN) operational update out today. Down 47% today or 3c to 3.1c. Patersons have a Sell recommendation. They say the update was ‘negative on all fronts’ and production guidance is to be downgraded as a result of the lack of explosives and the sequence of the open pit.
- Programmed Maintenance (PRG) announced a $100 million contract today.
- Henderson Group (HGG) — Investor presentation released today.
- Sonic Healthcare (SHL) — Will buy the German laboratory business of Labco for 76m euro.
- Crown Limited (CWN) — Is looking to rebrand itself as ‘Crown Resorts Limited’. The move is expected to make the company better known as a high end tourism operator.
- Warrnambool Cheese & Butter (WCB – 618c) — The WCB directors unanimously recommended their shareholders Reject Bega Cheese’s (BGA) takeover offer yesterday. They describe the offer as “inadequate” and that it “did not reflect fair value for WCB shares.” WCB may increase their earnings forecasts as early as next week in a bid to convince shareholders that the BGA offer is inadequate. Despite this analysts are saying BGA’s offer is fair, especially at a 28% premium to the pre-bid offer. In 2010 Murray Goulburn (17% stake in WCB) made a tilt at the company offering $4.53 per share which was knocked back. BGA has an 18% stake. Their bid represents a total $5.78 offer. Phillip Capital says WCB will need to prove that the offer is inadequate to convince shareholders that they should reject the offer or to even attract another buyer.
- Bell Potter — Initiated coverage of BGA with a Buy and a target price of 380c. They say the company has a dominant market position in the cheese and dairy market. The takeover of WCB will be earnings accretive.
- SeaLink Travel Group — Is a cruise business that operates in the Sydney Harbour. The company will look to IPO around October 16. The float is underwritten by Ords and Taylor Collison.
- Z Energy (ZNZ) — Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse have initiated coverage with a Buy recommendation with a target price of NZ435c and NZ407c respectively. Both brokers were lead managers for the float last month.
- According to findings by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — Temperatures in Australia have increased by 0.4-1.25 degrees. Most of it in the centre of Australia. By 2046 to 2065 they predict temperatures to rise by two degrees. By 2100 they will increase by three to four degrees. The hottest daily temperature is expected to rise by five to six degrees.