The Australian market (XJO) closed up 47 points or 0.98% to 4861.4 today. The market started the day strong and had managed to keep moving higher throughout the day closing near the day's high. Taking a lead from overseas last night the Dow Jones rose 138.38 points or 0.91% to 15,318.20. All of the market sectors were up today with the Industrials sector gaining the most with 2.07% followed by Consumer Discretionary adding 1.94%. Confidence is high going into Federal Chairman Ben Bernanke's press conference during the U.S. session tonight.
Whitehaven Coal Limited has had large shareholder change with Nathan Tinkler selling around half of his holdings in the company (101 million shares) to U.S. investment firm Farallon Funds for $2.96 each. The shares closed yesterday at $2.11. The other half of Tinkler's holdings in WHC are expected to be sold by the end of today to various funds and investors.
News Corporation has had its first day trading separately from newly listed New NewsCorp Inc (NNC). NNC is taking over the digital and print with some aspects of pay TV Foxtel and will be backstopped by a $US500 million buyback which will provide support. NWS is to become 21st Century Fox and take over control of the TV and Movie assets.
Lehman Brothers Australia's creditors have failed to reach an agreement on a proposal to return $210 million to clients and local councils. The investment bank's U.S. counterpart has stated that is will oppose the deal. The liquidators had previously agreed to a deal that made sure that councils were given back 50 cents for every dollar. The lawyers for the U.S. arm have taken up rights to the debt on the weekend, giving them the chance to vote against the proposal.
Transfield Services Limited work on the NBN has been extended for another two years, worth $366 million. TSE was working with the NBN to roll out fibre optic cable in Sydney and now has also been given a separate two year contract to do the construction of the connection devices outside of the homes worth $66 million.
Our international merchandise imports numbers are in for May, rising with increases in consumption goods and oil offset a fall in capital imports. The ABS today reported imports on a seasonally adjusted balance of payments basis increased by 2% in May to $20.44 billion. The imports of consumer goods rose 7% or $357 million, while imports of intermediate goods, like fuel, rose 4%, or $351 million. Imports of capital goods fell 5%, or $290 million.