The market is down 13 points.

The Dow Jones closed down 52 to 15,973. The market range-traded in the session, closing near its lows in a 60 point range.

There wasn’t a lot of data or news out overnight. The JOLTS job openings rose in October to 3.93 million. This release is said to be watched closely by incoming Fed Reserve chief Janet Yellen. The commentary focused on the timing of tapering, with an increased likelihood of a December start, and the chances of a budget deal. 

The S&P was down six points to 1,803.

Oil was up 1.20% at US$98.54.

Gold rose US$26.90 to US$1,261.40 per ounce.

The US$ was weaker against most major currencies. The Aussie dollar was stronger and is currently trading at US91.43c.

VIX volatility index rose 3.11% to 13.91.

US Treasury markets were stronger — the yield on the 10 year bond fell four basis points to 2.806%.

European shares were weaker — the French CAC fell 1.04%, the German DAX was down 0.88% and the UK FTSE was down 0.55%. The strong Swiss franc raised concerns about exports and the general weakness spread to other markets in the region.

European bonds were flat, with the yield on the Euro 10 year bond unchanged at 1.833%.

Base metal prices were mostly stronger — led by zinc up 1.71% and lead up 0.78%. Nickel was the exception, falling 0.16%.

Iron ore was flat at US$139.40 a tonne.


  • The Westpac Consumer Confidence Index fell 4.8% to 105 points in December.
  • IPOs — Affinity Education Group (AFJ) and DorsaVi (DVL)
  • BHP Billiton (BHP 3635c) — Says its US shale gas business will generate cash from 2016, contributing almost $3 billion a year to the group by the end of the decade. They also revealed plans to spend $4 billion annually to grow US gas production to 500,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day by the financial year 2017.
  • Warnambool Cheese and Butter (WCB 914c) — Saputo has upped its stake in WCB.
  • Chorus (CNU 122c) — Commission initiates review of UCLFS connection charges
  • Fortescue Metals (FMG) & JB HiFi (JBH) — Has been added to the UBS Model Portfolio.
  • Transfield Services (TSE 96c) — Investor Day Presentation.
  • Webjet (WEB 263c) — The final stages of the Zuji operating platform re-engineering has been completed. The new sites provide enhanced user experience through the streamlined workflow which reduces time to book, improved the content and range in the packages area, and upgraded filtering and multiple date range shopping features. The new platform also delivers a material increase in hotel content available, as a result of the existing Webjet hotel relationships. The full product range on all sites will continue to be expanded over the next few weeks.
  • Leighton Holdings (LEI 1548c) — Has been awarded a $430 million Al Habtoor City Residential Towers project in Dubai.
  • APA Group (APA 611c) — Increases guidance about 2% above previous $715-$730 million range. They expect financial year 2014 EBITDA of $730-$740 million.
  • Fairfax (FXJ) — Buys Property Data Solutions for $30 million.
  • Seven Group Holdings (SVW 736c) — To buy back about 3.86% of its shares.