A solid bounce today after yesterday’s drubbing as financials led us out of the quagmire. Good gains in the big four of between 0.5 and 1% with a good performance from BHP Billiton Limited (A$37.78, +1.1%) also helping things along. RIO Tinto Limited (A$63.35, +0.1%) announced their production numbers today which had a hint of weather relatedness to their Pilbara sales but none the less a very solid performance and nothing to get too worked up about. The usual suspects all put on good gains with the likes of Woolworths Limited (A$35.97, +0.9%), Wesfarmers Limited (A$42.44, +1.0%),Woodside Petroleum Limited (A$39.15, +0.2%),Origin Energy Limited (A$14.36, +0.6%), Telstra and Macquarie Group Limited (A$55.15, +0.3%) all standouts. The index hit a high of 5408 before sliding towards the close then pushed up in the chocolate wheel auction , ending up 28 at 5387. Not really that confident, were we?

In the sectors TPG Telecom weren’t looking so smart as the new and improved NBN looks set to go head to head with them. Tin cans and string are so point-to-point it’s hard to compete with that. Other tech stocks were mixed with Xero still under pressure, but Seek Limited (A$16.11, +2.1%) Iproperty Group Limited (A$2.52, -2.7%),Carsales.Com Limited (A$10.10, +0.2%) better with #MNW# struggling.

Boring old widget makers like Brambles Limited (A$9.24, +1.4%),TPI# and #VED# all bouncing back nicely nicely. Gambling stocks paid off with Crown Resorts Limited (A$16.51, +0.9%) lifting as did Jumbo Interactive Limited (A$1.355, +6.3%),Ainsworth Game Technology Limited (A$4.00, +2.3%),#TAB# and Tatts Group Limited (A$2.96, +1.0%). Retailers were positive too as Myer Holdings Limited (A$2.24, +1.4%) looked ok as did The Reject Shop Limited (A$9.93, -1.3%)JB Hi-Fi Limited (A$20.69, +1.2%) and Harvey Norman Holdings Limited (A$3.27, +0.9%). Media stocks were mixed as they look to gloat if the ABC has its funding cut next month. Will not help Ten Network Holdings Limited (A$0.25, -3.8%) as they have only two viewers left. Seven West Media Limited (A$1.865, unch) and #NEC# little changed. Looking forward to Midsomer Murders with ads!

Standing tall on the podium today were Syrah Resources Limited (A$3.58, +9.5%), Magellan Financial Group Limited (A$12.08, +6.2%),Panaust Limited (A$1.675, +6.0%),Breville Group Limited (A$8.95, +3.8%),Domino’s Pizza Enterprises Limited (A$19.70, +3.6%) ,Ten Network Holdings Limited (A$0.25, -3.8%)and #CVO# whilst being showered in the cheap seats with Asti Spumante were Echo Entertainment Group Limited (A$2.65, -4.0%)(rally didn’t last long!)Beadell Resources Limited (A$0.65, -3.7%), Regis Resources Limited (A$2.45, -3.5%), Skilled Group Limited (A$2.74, -3.2%),NIB Holdings Limited (A$2.71, -4.9%) and Billabong International Limited (A$0.485, -5.8%).

Volume was again hardly the stuff of dreams at a tad over $3bn.Gold $1320 and the Aussie Battler briefly went through 94 but settled back just below at 93.885.

Around the grounds Nikkei has bounced 0.9% , Hang Seng is 1.1% lower and the Shanghai Composite is down 0.8%.

Stocks and Stories

In house stocks today AWE Limited (A$1.50, +1.7%) fared better after a drilling update at Pateke 4H.Nexus Energy Limited (A$0.059, unch) were presented with the rescue package from Kerry Stokes.Seven Group Holdings Limited (A$8.15, +0.6%) are looking acquire a third leg to their business interests with the 2 cent offer.

Lunar eclipse tonight on the east Coast, find a beach and try to peer through the clouds!

Sydney Airport (A$4.10, -1.0%) News today that Sydney is going to get a second airport. One that has no noise pollution at that. Cannot believe it has taken this long to state the obvious that Badgerys Creek should be the site. Loads of new jobs and Sydney Airports has first right of refusal. Suspect they will only want to build the car parks!

BLX has just moved into the lead with IPO of the year with a tremendous first day for those lucky enough to get any shares. Big volume too as the family holds on and the silent partner exits.30m shares traded today.

Not so lucky was #KDL# which was trying to get a placement way at $1.00Unfortunately there seemed insufficient interest and the placement has been cancelled!

RIO Tinto Limited (A$63.35, +0.1%) produced 66.4 million tonnes of iron ore from its global operations, Pilbara shipments were affected by bad weather. Rio’s copper division – its second most important commodity – performed better than expectations with production of 156,500 tonnes.

Central Petroleum Limited (A$0.515, +6.2%) bobbed up today after encouraging gas flows at their Mt Kitty exploration well.

Padbury Mining which soared the other day following news it had secured $6bn from a private investor to build the Oakajee Port terminal remained in a trading halt as they missed the deadline to name names. Would have though there aren’t too many that would be in the frame for this one! Private equity investors with that sort of dough are few and far between.17th April all will be revealed! So they say!

This is a freebie for these guys as David Jones Limited (A$3.91, unch) has appointed independent expert Grant Samuel to assess whether a $2.15 billion takeover offer from South African retailer Woolworths is in the best interest of shareholders. I think they will say yes!

Insurance Australia Group Limited (A$5.49, +0.5%) has reaffirmed its guidance for the year on its gross premium growth of three to five per cent. The company also expects to achieve a reported insurance margin of between 14.5 and 16.5 per cent for the year. No strategic review needed here it seems.

A frank admission today as the RBA’s Guy Debelle said “We’re pretty crap at forecasting,” at a forum in Canberra. Nice to know we are in safe hands then.

This is sending a strong message. John Gay the former disgraced Chairman and head honcho of Gunns was banned from being a director for insider trading. Just eight months later he is a director again. He was fined $50,000 for the offence, which netted him $800,000.Seems that Crime does pay.

And in more from the RBA today, ”The Board’s judgment was that monetary policy was appropriately configured to foster sustainable growth in demand and inflation outcomes consistent with the two to three per cent inflation target,’’ In other words no change to rates until at least 2015

Tomorrow’s News Today

Big news today that the Rolling Stones have confirmed they are coming back. They couldn’t remember whether they had done the gigs or not so they thought they should do them again just to make sure.

In other news the world’s biggest junk bond deal is about to hit the market in Zombieland as Patrick Drahi unveils a $14bn offering to help finance his purchase French phone company SFR for $23bn.The French company is offering an interest margin of 350 basis points to 375 basis points more than benchmark rates on six-year term loans. It’s different this time remember 1987 wasn’t such a bad year was it?

The growth of global commerce will pick up speed this year and next, says the World Trade Organization. Trade will grow by a “modest” 4.7% this year and by 5.3% in 2015, says the WTO.Next year’s figure, if correct, would be in line with the average growth rate in world trade over the last 20 years.

Hard to believe that it wasn’t long ago that Ukraine was banging in the door of EU membership. Now with civil war fast approaching and a 3% hike in rates last night the country is moving closer to falling apart.

The recent falls in tech stocks have scuttled the IPOs of four wannabes in recent days. All this while Chinese Weibo (twitter) is set to raise $450m but its valuation has been downgraded. Out of the 46 companies that have listed so far this year in the biotech, tech space,only 5 have been profitable. An average stag of 26% on the first day.5 out of 46

The next big thing to hit the net will be the “internet of things” and London City airport is one of the first to start trials of some spooky stuff. They will be able to track and predict a passenger’s journey. Tell them when to get the train, where and how to avoid queues and even sort out a coffee for them. Scary. It’s like being married! Sorry I know its not true but couldn’t resist! Must be Tony’s influence on me!

And finally seems that our NSW Premier likes the good stuff as news broke today that some of those fronting the ICAC investigation sent BOF a $3000 bottle of Grange. Nice. No wonder he can’t remember getting it. Amnesia in politicians seems to be contagious these days!

That is all