The market is up 38 points.The Dow Jones was up 11 at 16,179. After some early wobbles, the market kept to a reasonable tight 80 point trading range and ended little changed.

The data was mixed with weaker than expected employment and new home sales data. The leading index was better than expected.

The S&P fell one point to 1,810.

Oil was up 0.99% at US$98.77.

Gold fell $45.70 to US$1,189.30 per ounce.

The US$ was stronger against most major currencies. The Aussie dollar was flat and is currently trading at US88.61c.

VIX volatility index rose 2.46% to 14.14.

US treasury markets were weaker — the yield on the 10 year bond rose four basis points to 2.931% following yesterday’s fall after the Fed announcement of tapering.

European shares were stronger — reacting to the strength in the US following the tapering decision. The UK FTSE rose 1.43%, the German DAX was up 1.68% and the French CAC rose 1.64%.

European bonds were weaker — the yield on the Euro 10 year bond rose three basis points to 1.870% and the UK 10 year bond yield rose four basis points to 2.959%.

Base metal prices were weaker — led by aluminium down 1.36% and copper down 0.97%. Nickel bucked the trend, rising 0.34%.

Iron ore was down US$0.70 at US$132.70 a tonne.


  • Telstra (TLS) — Will sell their Hong Kong-based mobiles business CSL to HKT Limited for $US2.4 billion. The deal would see them earn $2 billion for their 76.4% stake. HKT will also acquire the remaining 23.6% shareholding held by New World Development.
  • Toll Group (TOL) — Has won a $380 million contract to transport Coca-Cola Amatil’s beverages across Australia. It is a five year contract that involves bulk distribution and interstate road, rail and sea
    transport, and nearly doubles Toll’s existing revenue gained from this work.
  • Treasurer Joe Hockey has conditionally approved a foreign investment application from State Grid Corporation of China to purchase a 19.9% stake of SP AusNet (SPN) as well as a 60% holding in SPI (Australia) Assets Pty Limited and SPI (Australia) Trust (trading as Jemena).
  • Data released in the US overnight was mixed. The weekly jobless claims data disappointed, rising by 10,000 to 379,000, well above the 334,000 expected and the highest level in nine months. The Department of Labor said seasonal factors were a problem. Existing home sales also fell short of expectations, down 4.3% in November. The Philly Fed Index rose from 6.5 to 7 and the leading index topped forecasts, rising by 0.8%.
  • Data out today — CBA business indicators.
  • Company news — Sydney airport traffic statistics are released and RIO CEO Sam Walsh speaks at a British Chamber of commerce lunch.
  • Data out overseas tonight — Third estimate of the third quarter GDP, eurozone consumer confidence and the flach manufacturing PMI.
  • Cover-More Group (CVO 177c) — Has had a disappointing debut on the market yesterday with shares closing down 11.5% on their initial public offering price of 200c a share. Despite the fall the company argued that their long-term growth prospects remained strong.
  • Caltex (CTX) — Was up 13.1% yesterday to $19.12 after announcing it expects a 4% increase in full year marketing earnings to $765 million as it continues to roll out new service stations around the country, offsetting refining losses.