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A wishy washy start to the week as we wafted around from +10 to -10 points on very thin volumes due to the US Independence holiday. In the final countdown we closed down 6 points at 5519 with a low of 5514 and a high of 5535.Minimal movement in the leaders but we did see some M&A Monday merger madness with a last minute bid lobbed for Wotif.com Holdings Limited (A$3.29, +24.6%) from arch rivals Expedia. Westfield Corporation and Scentre Group continue to find some buyers. Other property facing stocks also performed admirably including Stockland (A$3.92, +0.5%), GPT Group (A$3.88, +0.5%),Dexus Property Group (A$1.14, +1.3%), Goodman Group, and Mirvac Group (A$1.79, +1.1%).

Financials was pretty unchanged as were resource stocks except for Commonwealth Bank of Australia (A$81.36, -0.7%) and Fortescue Metals Group Ltd (A$4.55, -2.8%) in each sector respectively.

Serving aces today were Wotif.com Holdings Limited (A$3.29, +24.6%),Karoon Gas Australia Limited (A$3.18, +3.2%),Iproperty Group Limited (A$3.39, +6.6%),Ten Network Holdings Limited (A$0.285, +3.6%), Bt Investment Management Limited (A$6.73, +2.6%), Mighty River Power and in the smalls TNG Limited, Triton Minerals, Antares Energy Limited (A$0.585, +9.3%) and #WLF# whilst doubling faulting on advantage server were Mount Gibson Iron Limited (A$0.70, -5.4%), Nuplex Industries, Atlas Iron Limited (A$0.67, -1.5%),Technology One Limited (A$2.68, -2.2%),Oz Minerals Limited (A$4.34, -2.9%) and Mirabela Nickel Limited (A$0.275, -36.0%) and Range Resources Limited (A$0.037, -7.5%). Volume was light at around $2.4bn

Asian markets drifted in and out of consciousness. The MSCI Asia Pacific index was down 0.1%,Tokyo falling 0.2%,HK down 0.22% and Shanghai down 0.29.The Aussie dollar at 93.6 and digital tulips around $677 with gold at $1319.

Stocks and Stories

Pacific Brands Limited (A$0.55, +1.9%) has lost its CEO John Pollaers as boardroom discontent continues in light of the strategic review by Macquarie.

Wotif.com Holdings Limited (A$3.29, +24.6%) Expedia will buy Wotif.com for $703 million. Shareholders will get $3.06 cash per share; plus a fully franked 24-cent special dividend paid by Wotif. A 10-cent value has been attributed to the franking credits

Aristocrat Leisure Limited (A$5.39, unch) announced today they have bought Native American gaming specialist VGT and have tapped the market on the shoulder for $375 and existing shareholders for another $90m

Antares Energy Limited (A$0.585, +9.3%) have been approached with a big $US300m offer for their Permian gas assets. LOI at the moment but it looks promising.

ANZ’s job ads rose 4.3 per cent month-on-month in June, retracing part of May’s large fall.

Tomorrow’s News Today

Looks like the IMF is about to downgrade its global growth numbers for 2014.

The Spanish wi-fi firm, Gowex, is filing for bankruptcy after its boss admitted that the firm’s accounts for the last four years were false. Founder and chief executive Jenaro Garcia Martin resigned after making the admission to his board. This stock was being valued only the other day at $2bn!!Think Batman’s favourite fund Gotham City Research was kind enough to out a price target of Zero on the stock. Good call! None of this ‘namby pamby’ underperform stuff!!!

Fed up with the rises to Sydney property markets? Why not buy a whole village in the Italian Alps!! Calsazio has been listed on ebay with a price tag of 200,000 of your English pounds. Looks like a bargain.14 timber and stone homes and 50 outbuildings.

Looks like the PUP are having fun now in the Senate with Clive blowing a huge hole in the Federal budget. Talk of $9bn.May have to cut back on Government spin and PR peeps.

Meanwhile in the UK land of strawberries, cream and Lewis Hamilton, a new report on the cost of sending your 2 kids to private school £526,000!Fees up by 300% since 1990!

German industrial output dropped for a third month in May amid signs Europe’s largest economy is taking a breather. Production, adjusted for seasonal swings, fell 1.8 percent from April, when it declined a revised 0.3 percent, the Economy Ministry in Berlin said.


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