The market is up 28 points.
The Dow Jones was up 159 points at 16,533 -- The market opened strongly and continued to rise after a positive reaction to the Federal Reserve minutes and some good earnings results. Consumer discretionary, energy and financials were the best performing sectors while consumer staples and materials lagged. Smaller companies underperformed the major indices. Volume was again light and the market traded in a 168 point range.
-- Were generally better than expected in the retails space. Tiffany (up 9.15%) was a standout, American Eagle beat estimates but guided lower and Target also rose despite guiding below consensus.
European share markets were mostly higher
-- The German DAX rose 0.61% and the French CAC rose 0.37%. Peripheral markets continued their recover, with the Greek and Italian markets up 1.56% and 1.07% respectively. European parliamentary elections are at the end of the week. But the UK FTSE was down 0.29%.
The Aussie dollar was stronger
and is currently trading at US92.45c.
Oil rose US$1.74
or 1.70% to US$104.07 a barrel.
Gold fell US$6.50
or 0.50% to US$1288.10 an ounce.
Base metals were weaker
-- Nickel fell 1.75%, copper fell 0.69% and zinc fell 0.69%.
Iron ore rose
US$1.00 to US$98.50 a tonne.
Fed Speak --
Kansas City President Esther George said the Federal Reserve's low interest-rate policies are having consequences as risks increase in some parts of the financial system, citing elevated farmland valuations as an area where policies are contributing to higher asset prices.
- James Hardie (JHX 1369c) -- Profit came in at $US99.5 million in the year to March 31, up from $US45.5 million. The company declared a special dividend of US20c on top of their final dividend of US32c. They also unveiled a buy back of up to 5% of their shares over the next year. The bumper profit result came on the back of improving housing markets in Australia and the US which increased sales volumes and prices. They expect improvement during the current fiscal year. JHX expects sales in Australia to grow in line with growth in the housing construction market.
- FMG is looking to ask the Fair Work Commission to prevent a strike by tugboat workers at Port Hedland. FMG will attempt an application to the FWC citing section 426 of the Act which allows industrial action to be stopped if a third party is set to suffer significant disadvantage.
- Woodside Petroleum (WPL 4123c) -- Closed +0.76% yesterday. The company advised the Leviathan JV that they had elected to terminate the memorandum of understanding agreed by the parties in February 2014. Negotiations failed to reach a commercially acceptable outcome that would have allowed fully-termed agreements to be executed.
- Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG 89.5c) -- Closed -8.21% yesterday after major shareholder China Huanqiu Contracting sold down their stake in the company to New York-based investor Third Point LLC.
- Ten Network (TEN 27.5c) -- Closed down 1.79% yesterday. They announced up to 150 jobs could be lost due to plans to cancel its news service and breakfast show Wake Up. TEN’s revenue and ratings have been falling and the Wake Up show was unable to attract average audiences of more than 35,000. Its rivals, Seven’s Sunrise and Nine’s Today average 10 times more.