The market is up 28 points.

The Dow Jones was down 30 points at 16,103.  The Dow rose as much as 59 in early trade and fell during the day. A late afternoon rally couldn’t be sustained and the market finished on its lows in a 100 point range. Initial strength was led by the tech sector but weaker than expected housing data, although once again said to have been negatively impacted by bad weather, triggered a switch in sentiment.  Some analysts are now questioning how long the weather-related effect will last and how quickly the economy will be able to bounce back.

The S&P fell four points to 1836.

Oil fell 0.54% toUS$102.20.

Gold rose US$6.70 to US$1,323.60 per ounce.

The US$ was mixed against most major currencies and the Australian dollar was weaker, currently trading at US89.83.

VIX Index fell 0.74% to 14.68.

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

European shares were generally stronger — The UK FTSE rose 0.37% to close at an all time high, the French CAC rose 0.59% but the German DAX rose 0.40%.

European bonds were stronger — The yield on the Euro 10 year bond yield fell three basis points to 1.661% and the UK 10 year bond yield was two basis point lower at 2.779%.

Base metal prices were mixed — Lead rose 0.58%, copper rose 0.18% and nickel was flat. Zinc and aluminium fell 0.18% and 0.06% respectively.

Iron ore fell US$0.50 to US$122.40 a tonne.


  • Aspen Group (APZ) — First half profit of $8.3 million down 21.8%. On market buyback of shares up to 25% approved. Distribution in line with guidance 7.5c.
  • Bluescope Steel (BSL) — First half underlying profit of $49.1 million which was above an expected $40.8 million. But the company said they wont pay an interim dividend.
  • Chrous (CNU) — Profit of $78 million down 7.1% but in line with an expected $75.6 million. No interim dividend. EBITDA $329 million. The company said Both the Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) and Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI) fibre rollouts were being delivered successfully, with more than 320,000 end-users within reach of better broadband.
  • Sky Network Television (SKT) — Profit of $83.5 million which was up 22.4%. Revenue was up 3% to $456.4 million. Interim dividend of 14c and a supplementary dividend of 2.4706 to be paid to non residents.
  • Senex (SXY) — Posts underlying profit of $31.8 million up 37% and above an expected $30.4 million. Net profit was up 9% to $25.6 million. The company said they are on target to achieve full year production and capital expenditure guidance. No dividend.
  • M2 Group (MTU) — NPAT up 26% to $30.9 million. Underlying NPAT up 38% to $43.8 million. Revenue up 66% to $506m. Interim dividend of 11.5c. 50,000 net new services added. Patersons’ take on the result: Overall, another strong interim result for MTU driven primarily by acquisition contributions from the Dodo/Eftel businesses and, encouragingly, organic growth across the Company’s fixed voice, broadband and energy services. A key takeaway from the result was continued evidence of organic growth across MTU’s core offerings, with Fixed Voice services increasing by 23k to 753k and Broadband services increasing 39k to 451k. Positively also, MTU delivered strong growth in its Energy division which spawned from the Dodo acquisition, with services increasing by 23% to 69k during the period. Patersons financial year 2014 forecasts remain within the detailed earnings guidance provided by management. HOLD recommendation and 615c target price is under review.

Peter Fray

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