The market is up 40 points.

The Dow Jones was up 93 points at 16,133 — The Dow fell early in the day but strengthened after good economic data and traded in a 155 point range.

Initial weakness resulted from poor Chinese PMI data and was reinforced by a disappointing Philly Fed survey and weak earnings (and outlook) from Wal-mart. But once again the data was determined to be weather affected. The market was also supported by a strong Markit PMI number, which rose to 56.7 — the highest in four years.

The S&P rose 11 points to 1840.

Oil fell 0.11%toUS$103.20.

Gold rose US$2.50 to US$1322.90 per ounce.

The US$ was higher against most major currencies and the Australian dollar is currently trading near yesterday’s levels at US90.09c after falling as low as US89.35c after Chinese PMI data yesterday.

VIX Index fell 5.1% to 14.71.

US treasury markets were weaker  The yield on the 10 year bond rose two basis points to 2.752%.

European shares were mixed — The UK FTSE rose 0.24% and the French CAC rose 0.33% but the German DAX fell 0.43%.

European bonds were weaker — The yield on the Euro 10 year bond rose three basis points to 1.690% and the UK 10 year bond yield was seven basis point higher at 2.798%.

Base metal prices were generally weaker — Nickel fell 1.03%, zinc fell 0.49% and copper was down 0.36% but aluminium rose 0.19%.

Iron ore fell US$1.00 to US$122.90 a tonne.


  • Crown Resorts (CWN) — First half net profit of $3.315 million up 29% but lower than expected. Interim dividend of 18c. First half revenue up 3.4% at A$1.56 billion. Australian resorts were below expectations. MCE achieved record results and was the major contributor to the growth in Crown’s normalised NPAT.
  • Evolution Mining (EVN) — first half net profit $35.4 million which was down 13% but better than an expected $22.2 million. Interim dividend of 1c.
  • Insurance Australia Group (IAG) — first half net profit of $642 million which was up 39.3% and in line with consensus forecasts. Cash profit was $653 million down 4.5%. First half insurance margin 17.5% Vs 19.9%. First half gross written premium was up 4.2% to $4.79 billion. The company expects strong first year performance.
  • Iluka (ILU) — first year net profit of $18.5 million which was down 95% and well below an expected $47.7 million. Final dividend of 4c. ILU also bought 18.3% stake in Titanium Powder Producer Metalysis. They see a progressive recovery in Mineral Sands demand in 2014.
  • NAB — first quarter trading update — cash profit of $1.55 billion up 7% on $1.46 billion in the pcp. The boost in profit comes on the back of lower debts and growth in mortgages. Net income was $1.4 billion up on the $1.26 billion in the pcp. Bad and doubtful debts registering a charge of $324 million which was 23% lower. Lower charges recorded in both NAB’s local and United Kingdom businesses.
  • Telecom Corp NZ (TEL) — first half net profit of $167 million up 2.5% which includes discontinued operations, also above an expected $157.1 million. Interim dividend of 8c.
  • Santos (STO) — full year underlying profit of $504 million down 17%. They intent to raise dividends progressively as profit grows and when LNG projects start.
  • DUE Group (DUE) — NPAT of $142.2 million up 409.8%. Underlying profit excluding significant items was $38.9 million in line with an expected $23.4 million.
  • Billabong (BBG) — first half net loss $126.3 million.

Peter Fray

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