THE AUSSIE MARKET IS STRUGGLING TO MAKE GAINS TODAY... WITH MOST STATES ON PUBLIC HOLIDAY. THE ALL ORDS AND THE ASX 200 HAVE FALLEN IN AFTERNOON TRADE. ACROSS ASIA MARKETS ARE ALSO SEEING LACKLUSTRE TRADE THIS IS DESPITE WHAT WE SAW ON FRIDAY IN THE US. THE DOW ADDED HALF A PER CENT ... AFTER SPEAKER JOHN BAYNER SAID HE WOULDN'T ALLOW THE CURRENT IMPASSE TO TRIGGER A DEBT DEFAULT. THE DOLLAR IS SITTING AROUND 94 US CENTS

THE CONSTRUCTION AND ENGINEERING SERVICES FIRM, LEIGHTON HOLDINGS SAYS IT WILL VIGOROUSLY DEFEND A SHAREHOLDER CLASS ACTION... OVER ALLEGATIONS OF BRIBERY AND CORRUPTION. ACCORDING TO A RELEASE BY LEIGHTON TO THE SHAREMARKET. A WRIT HAS BEEN ISSUED BY THE SUPREME COURT OF VICTORIA ALLEGING LEIGHTON FAILED TO DISCLOSE ALLEGATIONS OF BRIBERY AND CORRUPTION IN IRAQ. IT ALSO ALLEGES MISBEHVIOUR OF SENIOR MANAGEMENT ... WHICH HAS LED TO LEIGHTON CLAIMING 5.6 MILLION DOLLARS FROM A FORMER EMPLOYEE. LEIGHTON SAYS IT DENIES THE BASIS FOR ALLEGED CLAIM AND WILL DEFEND THE CLASS ACTION.

CONSTRUCTION ACTIVITY ROSE TO ITS HIGHEST LEVEL IN ALMOST THREE-AND-A-HALF YEARS IN SEPTEMBER... AS HOUSE AND APARTMENT BUILDING EXPANDED. THE INDEX BY THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP AND THE HOUSING INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION ROSE THREE-POINT-NINE POINTS TO 47-POINT-SIX IN SEPTEMBER. THAT'S STILL BELOW THE 50 LEVEL THAT INDICATES EXPANSION THOUGH.