US stocks market surged strongly overnight on some good news that the market has been waiting for a long time. Citigroup's said the banking giant had been profitable for the first two months of 2009. Meanwhile, the market also was supported by the optimistic comments from U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and expectation on reinstatement of a rule that hinders short-selling.
Yesterday the Australian market struggled for direction early on but then found its feet later in the session to close higher, according to CMC Markets. The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index gained 30 points, or 0.95 per cent, at 3,184.5, while the broader All Ordinaries rose 21.5 points, or 0.69 per cent, to 3,143.2.
"We expect the Aussie Banks and Mining stocks will perform very strongly today, except for gold which went down US$22.10 last night. This will be a good day to accumulate more gold stocks," said Thomas Su, Research Director of Money Cat Consulting.
Key Economic Facts and Figures
The ANZ Bank's survey found total job ads in newspapers and on the internet dropped 10.4% in the month of February, the largest monthly fall since the series began in 1999. The number of job advertisements in newspapers and on the internet fell by 39.8% in the 12 months to February.
NAB monthly business survey shows that business conditions in Australia slumped in February to a level last seen just after the 1990s recession. The index fell nine index points to minus 20 points. However, the measure of business confidence rose slightly by 10 index points to minus 22 points in February.
Today the Australian Bureau of Statistics will release housing finance data for January and the Westpac/Melbourne Institute survey of consumer sentiment for March is due.
Sundance Resources (ASX:SDL) said yesterday the company will raise funds by a A$5 million placement to Queensland mining magnate Ken Talbot and an underwritten share purchase plan. Mr. Talbot will boost his stake in the iron ore junior miner to 22.1 per cent.
Important Corporate News
Pacific Brands (ASX:PBG) said retrenched workers could keep their jobs if a buyer can be found for its premises. The company will remain open to any approach from any party interested in buying and maintaining any part of its business.
NAB (ASX:NAB) chief executive Cameron Clyne is expected to reveal hundreds of job cuts in Australia, New Zealand and Britain as part of a strategy update to the market, said sources within the group.
Westpac (ASX:WBC) has outlined a plan to overtake National Australia Bank as the nation's biggest lender to the A$60billion small and medium-sized business segment.
Telstra (ASX:TLS) plans to stem falling fixed-line revenues by an upgrade of the telco giant's capital cities high-speed broadband network. The upgrade will also show that Telstra has an alternative to the Federal Government's multi-billion-dollar high-speed broadband plans. Telstra has confirmed the company's earnings guidance for fiscal 2009, after it was downgraded last month.
Trading in shares of Nexus Energy (ASX:NXS) has been suspended pending an announcement. Nexus Energy is in talks to sell assets and is also considering debt-raising alternatives.