The market is up 16 points. Dow Jones was down seven points to 15,392.

The S&P was flat, closing at 1745.

Oil fell below $100 a barrel for the first time since July, falling to US$99.22 on higher inventories.

Gold rose US$1.10 to US$1315.70 per ounce.

The US$ rose against major currencies. The Aussie dollar ended weaker at US$0.9657 after reaching highs of US$ 96.81 and is now trading at US$0.9668.

VIX volatility index rose 0.92% to 13.16.

The partial government shutdown has delayed the release of lots of data, including CPI, Industrial Production and Capacity Utilisation and Leading Indicators.

US treasuries were mixed — trading was quiet on little news and economic data. The yield on the 10 year bond fell closed at 2.604%.

European share markets rose, hitting fresh five year highs. The UK FTSE was up 0.48%.

European bonds were weaker, with the exception of Portugal.

Base metal prices were stronger — nickel led the way, up 1.15%.

STORIES

  • BHP — First quarter production numbers — iron ore output was up 23% to 48.85 million tonnes, lower than expected. Consensus was around 50 million tonnes and JP Morgan was expecting the figure to be around 54 million tonnes. Despite this BHP upped its financial year 2014 iron ore guidance to 212 million tonnes. financial year 2014 guidance was also reiterated for petroleum, copper and coal.
  • Mirvac (MGR) — Operational Update — has reaffirmed financial year 2014 distribution guidance of 8.8-9.0c per share. Office portfolio occupancy increased to 97.3% in the first quarter. The company says it is on track for greater than 10% return on invested capital. Mirvac has kept its 2014 financial year EPS guidance of 11.7-12.0c per stapled security.
  • McMillan Shakespeare (MMS) — AGM: With the worst behind, the company has announced an 18c dividend. Due to uncertainty at the time the board elected to not declare a financial year dividend.
  • APN News & Media (APN) — Has entered into discussions with private equity firm Quadrant to sell its remaining interest in the outdoor advertising business for $69m. The outcome will be good for shareholders because it gives APN flexibility around debt repayment.
  • Oil Search (OSH) – Production report — Has lifted production but sold less oil and gas. Production in the three months to the end of September was up 10%. Total production for the first nine months of 2013 was up to 4.97mmboe from 4.59mmboe. OSH also maintained financial year production guidance and expected production to be between 6.2mmboe-6.7mmboe.
  • Mirabela Nickel (MBN) — The company’s outlook is uncertain after failing to make a half-yearly coupon payment of just over $17 million on October 15. Under general insolvency laws, directors are personally liable as soon as the company fails to pay a debt. The company once had a market capitalisation of $1.2 billion but after massive declines in the nickel price, the company has been reduced to a market capitalisation of just $14 million.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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