The Shanghai Composite clinched a fresh seven-year high on Friday, while markets in Japan edged up to finish at their highest levels in 15 years.» Read More
Rio Tinto, the world's second-largest mining group, dismissed talk that it was lining up a bid for Canadian aluminum maker Alcan as speculation, but did not todeny the rumor outright.
Rio Tinto has hired Deutsche Bank to advise it on a possible bid for Canadian aluminum producer Alcan, the Sydney Morning Herald paper reported on Monday.
Stocks closed lower as comments from former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan and worries about upcoming economic data deflated a rally fed by takeover news. "The market's been held up by all of this M&A activity, not by fundamentals," said Ed Peters, chief investment officer at PanAgora Asset Management.
Alcan has entered early-stage discussions with global mining giant BHP Billiton as it looks to fend off an unwanted takeover attempt by US rival Alcoa, Canada's Global and Mail newspaper reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
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Stocks sold off across the board, and the Dow fell almost 150 points, after mixed economic data prompted investors to book gains. "A day like today was inevitable," said Michael Cuggino of Permanent Portfolio Funds. "I would caution investors not to get overly concerned based on today's (economic) statistics."
Shares in Rio Tinto retreated as much as 4% on Thursday, a day after surging to a record onspeculation BHP Billiton may make a $100 billion-plus takeover bid.
Stocks ended higher and the Dow closed at a new record after the Federal Reserve voted to keep interest rates unchanged. "You're seeing a lot of money that was put on the sidelines earlier in the day … that money was safe to come into the market," said Jeff Kleintop, chief market strategist at LPL Financial Services.
Stocks are searching for direction at lower levels ahead of the Fed's meeting today. The Fed is not expected to move on rates but its comment will be watched carefully.
Shares in mining group Rio Tinto surged on Wednesday on talk that bigger rival BHP Billiton was planning a bid which would create the world's fifth biggest company, although Rio denied it had been approached.
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As we posted earlier, Alcan is one of the best performing stocks in the contest from the latest stats we've collected. CNBC's David Faber had a video report today on the hostile takeover deal for Alcan that Alcoa is trying to engineer. Evidently, this has been a two year "courtship" between the two companies. But any possible friendly deal was stopped last December by Alcan. And Faber says it's possible there could be more "suitors" for Alcan. Here's his report with some info on Alcan.
The Dow ended at another new high after Alcoa announced a takeover bid for rival Alcan, but the overall indexes closed mixed as Wall Street awaits Wednesday's Fed meeting. "The liquidity and M&A is continuing to drive the market," said Robert Pavlik, chief investment officer at Oaktree Asset Management.
Stocks wrapped up another record week as potential merger deals pushed the major markets higher. "The market responded very well this week to the raft of mergers and acquisitions announcements and private equity deals," said Quincy Krosby, chief investment strategist at The Hartford.
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Tonight, the final match up in the commodities and industrial region
Stocks erased nearly all of their losses for the year after investors interpreted comments from the Federal Reserve to mean that an interest rate hike is less likely.The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq turned positive for the year, erasing all of last month's selloff, while Dow Jones Industrials is still down slightly for the year.
Communities on Australia's north-west coast were battered on Friday by a severe tropical cyclone which reportedly killed one and tore roofs from homes with destructive winds and heavy flooding.
Cyclones off the coast of Western Australia forced the shut down on Thursday of almost half the country's oil production as well as a major iron ore export terminal, with more closures seen as two storms approach oil fields.
BHP Billiton, the world's largest mining company, and Rio Tinto, the world's second largest iron ore producer, are said to be considering separate $40 billion offers for Alcoa. But some analysts question the likelihood of such a deal.