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Negative leads from overseas as we await the US reporting season took their toll in a holiday atmosphere. It’s school holidays and it appears that everyone has left the city and gone to Europe. Roads are quiet, market is quiet and volumes are low. Thus we endured a small drifty off kind of day with the ASX 200 bouncing off the 5500 level to close at 5511 down 8.Banks were the biggest losers as my rudimentary bank index hovered around 183(I just add the big four prices together).Materials were also in the doggy house as Iron Ore prices slipped slightly, BHP Billiton Limited (A$37.59, -0.2%),Arrium Limited (A$0.82, -3.0%) and especially Fortescue Metals Group Ltd (A$4.46, -2.0%) in the spotlight. Other resource stocks also fell Syrah Resources Limited (A$4.40, -2.2%),Western Areas Limited (A$4.95, +0.2%),Sirius Resources NL (A$3.54, -0.8%) and the golds stocks Newcrest Mining Limited (A$10.65, -1.8%),Alacer Gold Corp. (A$2.67, -4.3%) etc. Energy stocks were also slightly out of sorts with Woodside Petroleum Limited (A$41.74, -0.7%),New Hope Corporation Limited (A$2.64, -3.3%),Oil Search Limited (A$9.70, -0.6%) all down but minnow Antares Energy Limited (A$0.62, +6.0%) continued its run following a $300m approach for its Permian assets.

Industrials fared better especially in the building stocks as Csr Limited (A$3.70, +3.9%) ,Brickworks Limited (A$14.38, +2.1%),James Hardie Industries PLC (A$14.19, +0.9%) and Fletcher Building Limited (A$8.41, +0.4%) all to the good. Airline stocks also took off as Qantas Airways Limited (A$1.26, unch) sacked another bunch of engineers, Virgin Australia Holdings Limited (A$0.425, +1.2%) and Regional Express Holdings Limited (A$0.75, +1.4%) picking up the slack too with Auckland International Airport Limited (A$3.68, +1.9%) the stand out in the landing space. Tech stocks were mixed with Dicker Data, CSG Limited (A$1.00, +2.0%) and Technology One Limited (A$2.72, +1.5%) very strong .Telstra Corporation Limited (A$5.32, unch) unchanged.

Graphite is the sexy beast at the moment with Syrah Resources Limited (A$4.40, -2.2%) producing stellar runs as are Triton Minerals and today we saw Metals of Africa spurt ahead on the merest sniff of a graphite project in Mozambique.

Looking sexy as today were Csr Limited (A$3.70, +3.9%),Southern Cross Media Group Limited (A$1.125, +3.7%), Summerset Group, Auckland International Airport Limited (A$3.68, +1.9%),Transfield Services Limited (A$1.26, +2.4%),Sundance Energy Australia Limited (A$1.265, +2.8%),Treasury Wine Estates Limited (A$5.13, +3.4%) and Sirtex Medical Limited (A$19.07, +1.5%) whilst hugging the walls waiting for a dance were Austbrokers Holdings Limited (A$10.17, -4.1%),Iproperty Group Limited (A$3.33, -1.8%),Ten Network Holdings Limited (A$0.275, -3.5%),Breville Group Limited (A$7.79, -2.4%),KAR# and the massively volatile Mirabela Nickel Limited (A$0.18, -34.5%), Lamboo Resources and Moko Social Media. Volume was sporadic at around $2.8bn but interestingly resources starting to find some players both bulls and bears.

Asian markets were drifty too with China barely changed ,HK down 0.23% and HK down 0.14%.Aussie dollar was 93.86 and digital tulip $663 with the shiny stuff at $1317.

Stocks and Stories

Aristocrat Leisure Limited (A$5.30, -1.7%) came back having raised $375 from Instos at a great price of $5.26.

Biotech day today as Acrux Limited (A$1.215, +5.7%) bounced following a study showing their testosterone treatment does not cause brain tumours but Pharmaxis Ltd (A$0.064, -16.9%) fell hard following a dispute with their financing partners NovaQuest concerning a breach of their agreement. Also in biotechs ,house fave Regeneus Ltd (A$0.37, -2.6%) announced exclusive global rights for its human cancer vaccine. North Sydney health are the lucky ones,

Beach Energy Limited (A$1.63, -2.4%) spudded their Shelly 1 well in the Callawonga oil field. Cooper Energy Limited (A$0.515, -1.0%) also holds a 25% interest in the prospect.

AWE Limited (A$1.815, -0.3%) Oi Oi Oi came up a water prospect rather than oil unfortunately.

G8 Education Limited (A$4.64, +0.9%) has picked up another 19 childcare centres for slightly less than they usually pay at around 3.9X EBITDA as the land grab continues.

The Reject Shop Limited (A$9.81, +2.4%) has appointed a former beer and grocery industry executive, Ross Sudano, as chief executive.

REY Resources Limited (A$0.12, -7.7%) today announced that they had formed a strategic alliance with China National Fuels Corp.

In economic news Japan posted a fourth straight current-account surplus, as income from overseas investments masks the failure of the yen’s slide to boost exports. Export volumes remain under the level when Abe came to power in December 2012, despite the yen’s 16 percent slide against the dollar since.

Good to see Jamie packer down in Canberra chatting up the Japanese PM. He has pledged $10m for cultural project there as the country grapples with legalising casinos. Apparently Melco is really interested in helping with cultural development projects.I expect he wants to introduce them to the culture of doing ones short whilst playing the pokies!

Tomorrow’s News Today

Alcoa kicks off the “Season” in the US tonight. Thoughts are turning to when interest rates will rise as the Fed slips out the back Jack, made a new plan Jan ,taper too much Gus and set yourself free.

Big typhoon about to hit Japan today as Okinawa braces for Neguri.

Brazil take on Germany Tonight…

This one is going to be good as UK’s Sir Chris Hohn who runs The Children’s Investment Fund, a hedge fund that returns most of its profits to a charity, is set to air his dirty linen now in public with his very nasty divorce. This is the largest divorce case to come before the UK courts with his soon to be ex wife claiming 50% of his assets while he wants to settle with her for 25%.Should keep Murdoch tabloids in clover for months to come!

And while we are in the UK (as most of my friends seem to be) British Airways has said that passengers that cannot turn on their smartphone will not be able to fly to the US!seems harsh given the shocking battery life of an iPhone 5!

Zombie bankers have been summoned before the ECB in anticipation of the October deadline for asset tests as the ECB takes over supervision in November.They will get a briefing and a stern warning from Super Mario on how to comply. Banks will need to show they hold capital worth 8 percent of risk-weighted assets for the asset review and 5.5 percent for the adverse scenario of the stress test. They will get bonus marks if they have tried really, really hard to get over the line.

That is all. Go Brazil!