5:30 PM Sydney, Australia – Aussie dollar drops to a new six-year low as foreign investors dump the weakening currencies of resource exporting nations. For the week the ASX 200 index declined 4.3% in volatile trading.
Australian stocks closed higher in choppy and active trading but resource stocks closed higher.
The Aussie dollar dipped below 70 U.S. cents for the first time in six years and analysts and economists after resisting for months lowered the estimate for the struggling to currency.
Australian dollar closed at 69.79 U.S. cents and in stock trading turnover slid to 941 million shares worth $6 billion.
Aussie dollar struggled to stay above 70 U.S. cents level as investors sold currencies of emerging markets and nations relying on commodities exports. Iron ore, energy and coal prices has fallen sharply in the last nine months.
Economists are finally factoring the possibilities of the currency dipping as low as 55 U.S. cents in the next eighteen months.
At close, the ASX 200 Index gained 12.80 or 0.3% to 5,040.60 and the broader All Ordinaries Index rose 12.10 to 5,060.80.
For the week, ASX 200 declined 4.3%.
In commodities trading, gold fell US$7 to US$1,126 an ounce and Brent crude future for immediate month delivery slid 44 cents to US$50.24 a barrel.
Australian Stock Movers
Lend Lease Group
rose 0.2% to $13.31 and the infrastructure developer started to redevelop the Macarthur Square Shopping Centre project worth $240 million.
Ozforex Group Ltd
gained 0.4% to $2.40 after the online international payment services provider said AMP Limited acquired 12.12 million shares or 5.05% stake.
Rio Tinto Limited
increased 1% to $49.76 and the diversified mining company said it is looking for more ways to reduce operating costs and increase productivity in its iron ore operations. The company also said it is expecting sustained demands from China.
The miner has completed the second phase of exploration work on the promising Gava area and Namangan region of Uzbekistan.