View in Other Languages 1月29日澳洲股市:市场欢迎“坏账银行”提议 1月29日澳洲股市:市場歡迎“壞賬銀行”提議 1월29일 호주 시장보고서: 배드뱅크 기대감으로 시장 분위기 고조 オーストラリア市場レポート 1月29日:「不良債権銀行」案に対する市場の声援 Australian Market Report of January 29: Market Cheer for "Bad Bank" Idea تقـريـر سـوق أسـتراليــا الـمالـي 29 كانون الثاني / يناير : هتاف السوق لفكرة المصرف السيئ 

Sydney, Jan 29, 2009 AEST (ABN Newswire) - US stocks rallied overnight on the news that Obama administration is pushing the possible creation of a "bad bank" to isolate toxic assets from the financial institutions.

Yesterday the Australian shares ended higher led by banking sector. The benchmark S&P/ASX200 share index gained 1.5%, or 51.5 points, to 3495.5 points. The broader All Ordinaries index gained 1.3%, or 42.8 points, to 3435.1.

At 0816 AEDT on the Sydney Futures Exchange, the March SPI futures index was 63 points higher at 3,531.

Key Economic Facts and Figures

Data released by Australian Bureau of Statistics showed that consumer prices fell for the first time in two years during the December quarter due to lower prices for petrol, cars, health products and financial services. The consumer price index fell 0.3% in the December quarter, the biggest drop since September 1997.

Treasurer Wayne Swan said fighting inflation was no longer the government's chief focus, but remained a high priority in terms of the government's medium-term fiscal strategy.

Latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show the annual rate of growth in rents across the country has jumped to 8.4 per cent in the year to last month, up 2 per cent from 2007.

M&A News

Cancer treatment developer Cytopia(ASX:CYT), holding a stake of less than 1% in Progen Pharmaceuticals(ASX:PGL), is leading a push to unseat the board of Progen and stop a proposed merger between Progen and Avexa(ASX:AVX), citing it was not in the interests of shareholders.

Important Corporate News

Tabcorp Holdings(ASX:TAH) says it has conditional planning approval for its A$475 million redevelopment and expansion of its Star City casino in Sydney.
Rio Tinto(ASX:RIO), rumoured to sell share to pay off $US39 billion in debt, has conceded an equity raising is one option being considered.

Santos (ASX:STO) yesterday released a reserve report showing its fifth successive annual reserve increase, taking the company's total reserves past one billion barrels. The company said the increase was driven by a boost in the company's coal seam gas reserves, along with healthy growth in its conventional reserves.

Strathfield Group (ASX:SRA), the mobile phone and electronics retailer, has been put into administration by its directors and suspended from trading on the Australian Stock Exchange after a less than satisfactory Christmas and post-Christmas trading and the worsening outlook for at least the first half of this year.

Australian Foundation Investment Company(ASX:AFI) says it has A$760 million to support its 2009 dividend payments if necessary, after it suffered a two-thirds plunge in interim profit. The company says it will be hurt by any large cuts to dividends from its A$2.7 billion worth of investments in many of Australia's largest listed companies.

Woolworths (ASX:WOW) has delivered an 8.8 per cent boost in sales for the 27 weeks to January 4, from A$23.99 billion to a record A$26.1 billion. Australia's largest retailer also gave an upbeat forecast for the year.

Oil and gas contractor Neptune Marine (ASX:NMS) has unveiled half-yearly revenue of A$97 million and forecast buoyant times ahead despite stormy economic waters and the sinking oil price.

Australian Iron Ore Miner Warwick Resources Limited (ASX:WRK) announced an initial Inferred Mineral Resource at its 100% owned Caramulla South iron ore project of 13.8 Million tonnes at over 50% Fe.

Western Plains Resources Ltd (ASX:WPG) advised that it and the Commonwealth of Australia have executed a Deed of Access, pursuant to which the Commonwealth, through the Minister for Defence, has granted formal approval for WPG to develop its Peculiar Knob DSO iron ore mine south of Cooper Pedy in South Australia.

Contact

Michelle Liang
Asia Business News Asia Bureau
Tel: +61-2-9247-4344
Email: michelle.liang@abnnewswire.net


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