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Market Update

Another Downturn in Commodities Drageed Australian and Asian Markets


Author: Marcus Jacob
ticker.com
Last Update: 11:12 AM ET September 22 2014

5:00 PM Sydney, Australia Australian indexes plunged 1.3% and erased almost all the gains in the year so far after spot iron ore and coal price took another dive. Australian dollar traded weaker and resource companies led the decliners.

Australian stocks traded sharply lower after commodities prices in international trading declined on growing China demand worries.

Spot iron ore price for China delivery declined 1.6% to $81.70 a ton on the market rumours that China is set to trim its 7.5% annual economic growth forecast as early as this week.

The news surprised markets around Asia and commodities prices weakened in afternoon trading in Tokyo, Shanghai and in Sydney.

Australian dollar traded at 89.07 U.S. cents and in stock trading turnover declined to 728 million shares worth $4.32 billion.

ASX 200 index dropped 70.10 or 1.3% to 5,363 and the broader All Ordinaries index slipped 69.10 to 5,368.20.

The persistent weakness in commodities prices in the last five months has nearly wiped out year-to-date gains in the ASX 200 index.

Stocks in Review

ALS Limited plunged 17.2% to $5.77 after the testing and inspection service provider lowered its underlying net profit-after-tax forecast for the first-half to $74 million, less than the $10 million from earlier guidance and decline 36% compared to a year ago period.

The company added revenues for the first-half are estimated to be $755 million and interim results is scheduled to release on 24 November 2014.

Macquarie Atlas Roads Limited rose 0.3% to $3.02 after the toll roads, bridges and tunnels operator said ITR Concession Company, operator of the Indiana toll road agreed to a debt restructuring plan with its secured creditors.

Macquarie holds a 25% stake in ITRCC, but the deal has no funding obligation by the group''s creditors.

Otto Energy Limited surged 12% to 0.093 cents after the oil and gas explorer plans to sell its Galoc Production Company to Singapore-based Risco Energy Investments for US$101 million.

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Sources: Data collected by 123jump.com and Ticker.com from company press releases, filings and corporate websites. Market data: BATS Exchange. Inc