5:00 PM Sydney – Trading in Australian stocks remained subdued as large and foreign investors stayed away from leading resource companies in Australia. Aussie dollar advanced as currency traders forecasted parity with the U.S. dollar. Downer EDI plunged after BHP cancelled a mining contract.
Australian stocks faced headwinds and market indexes struggled to gain traction in the session after the Aussie dollar gained.
Traders at several large banks geared for another bout of strength in the Aussie dollar on a growing belief that the Australian debt market is getting firmer and a return of higher interest rates in Australia.
Australian dollar rose to 93.84 U.S. cents and stock trading turnover gained to 658 million shares worth $3.57 billion.
ASX 200 index fell 15.70 or 0.3% to 5,454 and the broader All Ordinaries slid 16 to 5,432.50.
Stocks in Review
Downer EDI Limited
plunged 11.1% to $4.70 after the engineering construction company said BHP Billiton has cancelled its $360 million mining services contract at a Queensland coal mine.
Flight Centre Travel Group Limited
increased 1.1% to $46.43 after the travel manager lowered its current year underlying profit-before-tax guidance between $370 million and $380 million.
Aquila Resources Limited
climbed 3.4% to $3.61 on a unconfirmed media repot that Mineral Resources Ltd had acquired a stake of 12% or 49.9 million shares in the company.
Ramsay Health Care Limited
gained 1.3% to $45.14 after the private hospital operator agreed to acquire a stake of 83.43% in France-based rival Generale de Sante SA for €945 million or $1.29 billion.