Sydney, Nov 27, 2008 AEST (ABN Newswire) - US stocks rose for the fourth-consecutive session, as investors are betting on a government bailout for the two large carmakers, and hoped the worst of the financial crisis was finally over.

The Australian market closed lower on Wednesday. The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index ended down 83.4 points, or 2.3 per cent, at 3540.0, while the broader All Ordinaries dropped 95.8 points, or 2.68 per cent, to 3479.6. Analysts expect the US rally sustain for a while as there are some good signs in the global financial markets.

At 0826 AEDT, the December Share Price Index futures contract on the Sydney Futures Exchange was up 126 points at 3,691.

The Australian dollar has opened higher on improved risk appetite, as Wall Street shrugged off more poor economic data to rally for a fourth straight day. At 0700 AEDT, the Australian dollar was trading at $US0.6528/34, up from Wednesday's close of $US0.6462/65.

Oil prices rebounded overnight after Chinese and European moves to fight the global economic downturn eased fears of a deeper crisis that cuts energy demand. Light sweet crude for January climbed $US3.67 to close at $US54.44 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Key Economic Facts and Figures

Australia's index of skilled job vacancies fell 11.9% seasonally adjusted in November from the previous month, and was 38.3% lower than a year ago, the Employment Department said on Wednesday. Official jobless figures for November stood at 4.3% and some economists predict unemployment could spike next year to 6% or more, although the government has rejected that figure.

The figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) on Wednesday support the view that the Australian economy is better placed than most to weather the storm brewing in the world's economy. Total construction work done in Australia rose by 4.4 per cent in the September quarter in volume terms, seasonally adjusted, well above the median market forecast of a 1.5 per cent rise.

Today the Australian Bureau of Statistics is to release capital expenditure data. The Housing Industry Association publishes new home sales data for October.

M&A News

Rio Tinto(ASX:RIO) shares had their biggest fall in 21 years yesterday as Chinese aluminium giant Chinalco revealed it may raise its stake in the big miner. Chinalco chairman Lu Youqing said the company was considering raising its share in Rio's London-listed entity to 14.99 per cent.

Woolworths(ASX:WOW) has denied the speculation that it is in talks with discount home entertainment specialist JB Hi-Fi(ASX:JBH) over a possible acquisition. The two companies were in talks in August, but the deal fell through because of disagreements over price and maintaining independence of JB's management.

Important Corporate News

MYOB Ltd(ASX:MYO) is confident it will continue to grow through the economic cycle, despite downgrading its earnings guidance for calendar 2008 following a softness in sales. MYOB now expects earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) on a like-for-like basis of between A$71 million and A$72 million for calendar 2008.

Telstra Corp.(ASX:TLS) Wednesday continued its negotiating with the Australian government by lodging an incomplete proposal to build a A$9.7 billion national high-speed broadband network. The company is threatening to walk away from the project because of a lack of assurances.

Coca Cola Amatil Ltd (ASX:CCA) posted in August a record net profit of A$171.9 million for the six months to June 30, a 22 per cent increase on the prior corresponding period, saying it was on track for single-digit earnings growth for its second half. CCA chief executive Terry Davis questioned Lion Nathan Ltd's(ASX:LNN) ability to take over the beverage group.

Tower Australia Group Ltd(ASX:TAL) has increased its full year profit by 69 per cent after the life insurer won market share and as worries about the slowing economy prompted people to buy policies. Net profit for the 12 months to September 30 rose to A$68.7 million, from A$40.7 million the year before.

Contractor NRW Holdings(ASX:NWH) said Fortescue(ASX:FMG) had suspended work on the rail line linking its Cloudbreak and Christmas Creek deposits, with work 47 per cent completed.

1. Related Stocks - Mid Market (AEST 1230)
----------------------------------------------------Code   % Change   Volume     Turnover      Low  High----------------------------------------------------ASX:RIO +2.21  5,449,505  $270,758,916 4240    4475ASX:TLS -1.67  22,406,044 $92,999,449  409     421ASX:WOW +.91   2,214,280  $56,250,895  2488    2569ASX:FMG +6.39  4,457,032  $8,375,742   181.5   194.5ASX:LNN -.33   257,051    $2,281,266   880     895ASX:JBH +6.62  225,736    $1,797,212   767     817ASX:TAL +11.45 253,758    $536,391     200     218ASX:NWH +1.78  1,190,828  $349,130     28      31ASX:MYO +1.57  28,666     $27,032      94      96.5
2. Top 10 ASX on Turnover - Mid Market (AEST 1230)
----------------------------------------------------Code   % Change   Volume     Turnover      Low  High----------------------------------------------------ASX:BHP +4.95  16,197,378 $476,052,731 2852    2980ASX:RIO +2.35  5,494,033  $272,673,238 4240    4475ASX:QBE -4.69  7,921,780  $172,869,522 2162    2199ASX:TLS -1.91  22,406,169 $92,999,962  409     421ASX:WBC -.42   4,784,111  $80,616,214  1648    1714ASX:NAB +.4    3,226,542  $65,488,151  1962    2015ASX:WOW +.91   2,214,280  $56,250,895  2488    2569ASX:ANZ -1.28  3,423,438  $48,831,486  1384    1458ASX:CBA +.12   1,409,624  $47,053,526  3270    3356ASX:CSL +1.39  888,506    $29,237,086  3243    3325


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

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