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Market Update

Australian Building Approvals Rise 3%, Slide in Stocks Extend Losses

Author: Marcus Jacob
Last Update: 10:31 AM ET October 02 2014

5:00 PM Sydney, Australia Australian stocks declined and the dollar rebounded ahead of government report on new capital requirements at banks. Australian building approvals increased 3% in August on a surge in multi-family units. Expedia won a regulatory approval to acquire Wotif.com Holdings.

A slight rebound in Australian dollar failed to spark a rally in stocks as investors awaited a government report of capital requirements at banks.

Foreign investors continue to lower Australian stock holdings as the yield-trade unwinding weakens the Aussie dollar and resource companies struggle with oversupply of commodities and falling demand growth in China.

Australian dollar traded at 88 U.S. cents and in stock trading turnover declined to 659 million shares worth $3.82 billion.

ASX 200 index slipped 36.40 or 0.7% to 5,297.70 and the broader All Ordinaries index fell 36 to 5,298.50.

On the domestic economic front, building approvals increased 3% in August on the fastest increase in multi-family units in seven months.

Stocks in Review

BHP Billiton Limited slipped 1% to $33.65 after the diversified natural resources company agreed for two-year contract to acquire nickel ore from Poseidon Nickel Ltd to promote its Nickel West operations in Australia.

Prima BioMed Limited surged 7.9% to 0.041 cents after the medical biotechnology company secured an investment agreement with Bergen Global Opportunity Fund, LP for $37.4 million to acquire the France-based biopharmaceutical company Immutep SA.

Virgin Australia Holdings Ltd dropped 1.3% to 0.37 cents after the foreign investment review board approved to sell 35% stake in frequent flyer program by private equity firm Affinity Equity Partners.

Wotif.com Holdings Limited soared 6.5% to $3.29 after the competition commission approved the company sale to the U.S.-based Expedia Inc.

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