Sydney, Mar 27, 2009 AEST (ABN Newswire) - Overnight Wall Street shares closed higher amid growing optimism on prospects for economic recovery despite a rising jobless data.
Yesterday, the Australian market finished in positive territory as the Wall Street's good performance this month fueled investors' confidence over a gradual recovery in the US. The benchmark S&P/ASX200 ended the day up 37.3 points, or 1.03 per cent, at 3646.6, while the broader All Ordinaries gained 40.1 points, or 1.13 per cent, to 3586.3.
Key Economic Facts and Figures
United Nations said in an economic survey of Asia and the Pacific that Australia will have modest positive economic growth in 2009. Economy is forecasted to weaken significantly in 2009 to 0.5% growth while inflation rate is expected to reach 3.1% in 2009, down from 4.4% in 2008.
It is reported that Macquarie Group (ASX:MQG) is in talks to acquire Tristone Capital, a Canadian investment advisory firm that specializes in energy industry. Talks between the two firms are nearing completion after months of negotiations.
Important Corporate News
Virgin Blue (ASX:VBA) will cut 28 domestic flights from its daily schedule as in a move to cut costs. The reduction in flights will impact up to 400 full-time Virgin Blue staff.
BHP Billiton (ASX:BHP) slashed 400 coal mining contract workers at its Queensland operations as production needs decreased.
Executive Director of Gas producer Origin Energy Ltd. (ASX:ORG), Karen Moses, said the company would be interested in buying Woodside Petroleum Ltd.'s (ASX:WPL) stake in their Otway gas joint venture, located in offshore Victoria. She added that Origin is also eyeing other assets held by Woodside.
Shares in Crane Group Ltd. (ASX:CRG) were placed in a trading halt on Friday. Crane plans to raise A$40 million in a placement of shares to institutions in conjunction with a share purchase plan. Crane will also offer retail investors the chance to buy up to A$10,000 worth of shares each.
Babcock & Brown Infrastructure (ASX:BBI) has engaged Macquarie Capital Advisers to help steer it through the sale process for all or part of its Dalrymple Bay coal terminal. BBI and Macquarie will now proceed with a formal due diligence process for a short list on interested parties.
Iluka Resources (ASX:ILU) said it would close one of its four synthetic rutile kilns three months before expected, causing a 5 per cent cut in rutile production and the loss of 23 jobs in Western Australia.
OZ Minerals (ASX:OZL) shares have been suspended from trading pending an announcement by the company.
Commonwealth Bank (ASX:CBA) said today that it remains cautious about the short to medium term outlook as Australia's economy continues to slow. CBA said its credit quality remains sound. The bank has completed its fiscal 2009 funding task, and is holding A$82 billion in liquid assets.
Michelle Liang Asia Business News Asia Bureau Tel: +61-2-9247-4344 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org