The market is up 5 points. The Dow Jones was up 55 points to 15,876. The market initially faltered, but rose throughout the day, trading in a 85 point range.

All the focus was on Janet Yellen’s testimony to the Senate Banking Committee. Her dovish comments suggested there will be no early tapering and markets rallied as a result.

The S&P was up 9 to 1782.

Oil was flat, up just 0.07% to US$93.95.

Gold was up US$18.40 to US$1286.80 per ounce.

The US$ was strongeragainst most major currencies and the Aussie dollar was weaker, currently trading at US$0.9325.

VIX volatility index fell 1.12% to 12.38.

US treasury markets were strong — the yield on the 10 year bond fell 2 basis points to 2.696%. There was $16 billion of 30 year bonds on Thursday which was met with soft demand.

European shares were stronger — The UK FTSE rose 0.54%, and the French and German markets were up more than 1% despite a contraction in French GDP and lower than expected Eurozone GDP which rose 0.1%.

European bonds were stronger. The Euro 10 year bond yield fell four basis points. All markets were strong with the exception of Portugal, where 10 year yields rose three basis points.

Base metal prices were mixed — nickel, aluminium, and zinc fell around 0.2% each while zinc and copper rose (0.265 and 0.13% respectively).

Iron ore rose US$0.50 to US$136.60 a tonne.

STORIES

  • Janet Yellen spoke last night and defended the Fed’s bold steps to stimulate economic growth. She said the job market and economy were running short of where they could be and the US had more work to do.
  • European economy slows, growing just 0.1% in September quarter. German GDP was weaker at 0.3% but in line with expectations. The French economy surprisingly contracted.
  • AGMs today — Lend Lease (LLC), MacMahon holdings (MAH), Automotive Holdings (AHE) and Perseus Mining (PRU).
  • Tonight in the US there is industrial production and capacity utilisation.
  • Debt ceiling challenge — Treasurer Joe Hockey has threatened to cut spending even further if the opposition and Greens don’t pass legislation that allows the debt ceiling to increase from $300 billion to $500 billion.
  • Mermaid Marine (MRM) — Down 15% after profit warning.
  • Bega Cheese (BGA) — Up 3% in early trade.
  • Freelancer.com (FLN) — is due to list today at 12pm. Freelancer.com is the world’s largest freelancing, outsourcing, and crowd-sourcing marketplace for small business. The website has over 9 million users. So you can pretty much hire a freelancer to do contract work at a fraction of the cost. They are raising $15 million with an offer of 30 million shares at 50c.
  • Greencross (GXL) — Vet owner Greencross is merging with retailer Petbarn in a deal worth more than $330 million to create one of Australia’s largest pet care companies. The merged entity will have 124 stores and 100 vet clinics across Australia and New Zealand. They plan to link pet stores and clinics together to cut costs and increase revenues. They also expect to generate more than $50 million in earnings. The deal: Greencross will issue 52.5 million shares to the owners of Petbarn’s parent company Mammoth.The shares fell 20c or 3.1% on the news.

Peter Fray

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