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Sydney, April 6, 2009 AEST (ABN Newswire) - [ABZN] Aust.Market: One Month Gains

US stocks was up on Friday over optimism of an economic rebound, despite the news that the jobless rate rose to 8.5% in March. This was the fourth gaining week for Wall Street.

On Friday, the Australian shares closed higher. The benchmark S&P/ASX200 climbed 55.4 points, or 1.51 per cent, at 3,735.6, while the broader All Ordinaries surged 51.8 points, or 1.43 per cent, to 3,674. This week the focus of the local market will be the Reserve Bank of Australia's interest rate decision.

Key Economic Facts and Figures

The Olivier Job Index, which records the number of jobs advertised online, seasonally adjusted fell 12.51 per cent in March. Australian job ads have dropped by 30.51 per cent in 2009, with the most severe drop in engineering, down 20.42 per cent.

This week the Reserve Bank of Australia is set to announce the interest rate decision of the month. Economists expect the official rate would stay at its current level of 3.25 per cent as the global market shows signs of recovery. But some economists believe there are still good reason to cut up to 50 basis points.

M&A News

Gold explorers Chalice Gold Mines (ASX:CHN) and Sub-Sahara Resources (ASX:SBS) plans to merge and pursue the development of cash-strapped Sub-Sahara's high-grade Zara project in Eritrea, East Africa. Chalice is offering one of its shares for every 10.73 Sub-Sahara shares. Sub-Sahara shareholders will hold 39percent of the merged entity, which will retain the Chalice name.

It is reportedly that Crown Ltd (ASX:CWN) is eyeing an investment in an $US8.6 billion Las Vegas complex being developed by the US casino giant MGM Mirage (NYSE:MGM). Crown is believed to partner with Colony Capital to invest in the ailing partially built project owned by MGM Mirage and Dubai World.

Important Corporate News

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is suing iron ore mining company Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG) and its Chief Executive Andrew Forrest, accusing them of misleading investors over Chinese deals five years ago. ASIC also would ask the courts to consider barring Mr. Forrest from being a company director.

Westpac (ASX:WBC) warned that the costs of funding have continued to go higher. The bank may not be able to pass on the RBA's rate cut in full.

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank (ASX:BEN) has revised its full year cash earnings guidance to between A$205 million and A$218 million as a result of the challenging economic environment. The bank said in a statement that this reflects the challenges faced by the bank in the first nine months of the financial year, and the efforts to re-shape parts of the business.

Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) has plans for an $US8 billion rights issue if its $US19.5 billion deal with Chinese giant Chinalco fails, reported a British media. The rights issue will be underwritten by JP Morgan Cazanove and Credit Suisse.


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

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