Sydney, Nov 24, 2008 AEST (ABN Newswire) - US share rebounded strongly on Friday after two days of selling that pushed the main indexes to five-years lows. Wall Street surged on hopes that Mr. Obama could plan a massive stimulus program to stop the US economy's slide into recession.

The Australian stock market staged a late rally on last Friday, with the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closing up 63.6 points, or 1.9 per cent, at 3,416.5, while the broader All Ordinaries index gained 54.3 points, or 1.63 per cent, to 3,386.9. Market is struggling to recover with some "bear market rally" although the fundamental problems remain. Analysts said the recent fluctuation is because of uncertainty and the political factors are important at this stage.

At 0735 AEDT, the December Share Price Index futures contract on the Sydney Futures Exchange was up 103 points at 3,535.

The Australian dollar has opened higher after a rally on Wall Street lifted demand for the high-yielding currency. At 7am, the Australian dollar was trading at 63.28 US cents, up 1.2 US cents, or 1.9%, from Friday's close of 62.12.

Oil prices was higher but held under $US50 per barrel on Friday, hovering near multi-year lows on concerns over weakening demand and the prospect of a global recession. The New York contract for light sweet crude for delivery in January gained 51 cents to close at $US49.93 a barrel.

Key Economic Facts and Figures

More than half of Australian voters would be concerned if the federal government took the budget into deficit, the latest Newspoll reveals. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has refused to talk about pushing the budget into deficit, but last week Reserve Bank governor Glenn Stevens gave the government a green light to do so, as a way to avoid an economic downturn.
Today the Housing Industry Association and Austral Bricks issue their trades report for the September quarter.

M&A News

Lion Nathan(ASX:LNN) is offering A$6.15 in cash and 0.469 Lion Nathan shares per Coca-Cola Amatil(ASX:CCL) share. It is said that Lion Nathan wouldn't be interested in exploring the proposed transaction if it turned hostile and said that even if the transaction ultimately is successful, it will take a long time to complete.

Mount Gibson Iron Ltd(ASX:MGX) expects to finalise agreements with Shougang Concord International Enterprises Company Ltd(HKG:0697) by Tuesday November 25, 2008, including long-term off-take agreements for Extension Hill and Tallering Peak with Shougang Concord and another for Extension Hill with Mount Gibson's major shareholder, APAC Resources Ltd(HKG:1104).

Fund managers IOOF Holdings Ltd(ASX:IFL) and Australian Wealth Management Ltd(ASX:AUW) plan to merge to create a financial services company with more muscle to pursue expansion opportunities. IOOF is offering one of its shares for every 3.73 AWM shares and its offer has been recommended by AWM's board.

Important Corporate News

Leading Australian banks are trying to stitch together a rescue plan for Babcock & Brown(ASX:BNB) as a group of German lenders to the troubled group agitate for the company to be wound up. It is understood that the Australian major banks are keen to find a way for the company to continue as a going concern but offshore lenders are losing confidence in the group.

On Friday, finance software maker Bravura Solutions(ASX:BVA) issued its 2009 revenue and profit guidance. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation is estimated to come in at between A$19 million and A$24 million (from A$18.6 million in 2008), while revenue is expected to be in the range of A$137.7 million to A$142.7 million.

GrainCorp(ASX:GNC) says it wants to reduce long-term debt and return cash to shareholders after two years of drought and lower than expected grain harvests. Analysts predict it should reach between 7.5 million and 10 million tonnes.

Lend Lease(ASX:LLC) said on Monday it had agreed with Babcock and Brown Communities (BBC) to amend the agreement detailing the transaction to reduce the purchase price from 58 cents per security to 29 cents. The result of the changes is that Lend Lease will end up with 43.2 per cent, of BBC, once approved by security holders.

Suncorp-Metway Ltd(ASX:SUN) has raised its full-year bank profit forecast as the insurance and banking group keeps costs under control and benefits from increasing revenue from raised prices. Suncorp said the company's banking profit before tax and bad debts will increase in the high teens for the 12 months to June 30, 2009.

1. Related Stocks - Mid Market (AEST 1230)
Code   % Change   Volume     Turnover      Low  High
ASX:SUN  -3.03   2,455,863  $17,267,882  647     744
ASX:LNN          673,417    $6,094,957   894     926
ASX:CCL  -1.64   514,903    $4,602,974   887     900
ASX:AUW  +17.76  3,758,634  $3,284,256   85      92
ASX:MGX  +14.63  9,503,151  $2,365,807   22.5    28
ASX:LLC  +.98    169,160    $1,226,618   716     745
ASX:BNB  -36     50,000     $125,000             
ASX:GNC  +4.76   15,633     $85,496      520     552
ASX:BVA  +2.04   27,204     $6,561       23      25
2. Top 10 ASX on Turnover - Mid Market (AEST 1230)
Code   % Change   Volume     Turnover      Low  High
ASX:BHP  +1.59   9,566,096  $222,000,028 2190    2297
ASX:WBC  -2.26   7,269,619  $115,905,995 1544    1620
ASX:CBA  -3      2,908,900  $89,109,965  2910    3100
ASX:ANZ  -1.94   5,942,277  $78,396,178  1291    1354
ASX:NAB  -1.84   3,615,510  $68,202,732  1838    1907
ASX:TLS  +.75    15,158,279 $60,727,911  398     404
ASX:RIO  +.31    916,122    $57,801,573  6006    6233
ASX:NCM  +12.06  1,612,379  $38,110,957  2250    2440
ASX:LGL  +16.11  17,508,018 $36,319,228  203     213
ASX:CSL  -2.52   1,129,589  $35,047,541  2993    3170


Michelle Liang
Asia Business News Asia Bureau
Tel: +61-2-9247-4344

Related Companies

Suncorp Group Limited         
Shougang Concord International Enterprise Co.        
Mount Gibson Iron Limited          
Lion Nathan Limited        
Lendlease Group          
IOOF Holdings Limited        
GrainCorp Limited        
Coca-cola Amatil Limited        
Bravura Solutions Limited      
Babcock & Brown Limited        
Australian Wealth Management        
Apac Resources Limited       

ABN Newswire
ABN Newswire This Page Viewed:  (Last 7 Days: 3) (Last 30 Days: 13) (Since Published: 13055)