The ASX 200 index broke into new highs for the year finishing on its high yesterday in a sign of strength fuelled in part by a 4.6% rally in BHP

With international markets continuing to drift in advance of the US profit reporting season, investor attitudes towards Elliot Management’s call for BHP to be restructured may hold the key to the index this morning. Elliot Management’s proposals will need support from other shareholders if they are to have any chance of ultimately being converted into action. Investors may need evidence of this to emerge if this rally is to be extended.

The spot iron ore price continued to soften yesterday, raising the question of whether investors will be prepared to stage a repeat of yesterday’s market action where the share price of  major iron ore stocks moved in the opposite direction

The news that Libya has again been forced to halt production at its Sharara oil field has a more tangible impact on the oil market than the Syrian air strikes at this stage. This disruption potentially removes 200,000 barrels a day from the market. The oil price continued to climb on this news with energy stocks likely to be supported again in today’s market.