4:45 PM Sydney – Stocks advanced in Sydney in light volume and new building approvals declined 4.7% in August from July but gained 7% from a year ago. Australian dollar edged higher and commodities prices fell. Mongolian government signaled additional approvals for the delayed Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold mine.
The ASX 200 index gained 8.8 points or 0.2% to close at 5,215.60 and the broader All Ordinaries Index added 8.6 points to 5,214.90.
New building approvals declined 4.7% to 13,687 in August, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said today in a report. The approvals rose 7% from a year ago month.
Australian Trade Deficit widened to $815 million in August as shoppers looked for bargains online from international vendors.
The Australian dollar gained to 93.56 U.S. cents and commodities prices ease. Gold dropped to $1,292 an ounce and light crude declined 29 cents to $102.40.
Stocks in Review
Weak commodities prices dragged miners and resource stocks.
BHP Billiton decreased 18 cents to $35.31, Rio Tinto declined 78 cents to $60.29 and Newcrest fell 45 cents to $10.95.
Paladin Energy increased 5 cents to 53 cents and the uranium miner announced plans to cut spending and lower salaries of executives.
Linc Energy plunged 14.75 cents or 10.5% to $1.25 after the company announced plans to delist from exchanges in Australia and Singapore.
Warnambool Cheese & Factory Co gained 1% after the company revised its fiscal 2014 operating earnings between $47 million and $52 million.