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Market Update

Australian Consumer Sentiment Falls Again, Iluka Lowers Outlook

Author: Marcus Jacob
Last Update: 8:03 AM ET May 22 2013

5:00 PM Sydney – Australian consumer sentiment index in a private survey declined for the second month in a row. Stockland completed its $400 million capital raising plan in an oversubscribed offering. Iluka Resources dropped 6%after it lowered full-year earnings outlook on weak mineral prices.

Australian stocks were under pressure after latest read on consumer confidence unexpectedly declined for the second month.

The Westpac-Melbourne Institute index for consumer sentiment declined 7% to 97.6 in May, the second monthly decline in a row. The index fell to the lowest in ten months.

The ASX 200 index slid 14.70 to 5,165.40 and the broader All Ordinaries fell 14.10 to 5,142.10.

Australian dollar declined to 97.70 cents against the U.S. dollar and in stock trading turnover jumped to 1.2 billion worth $5.5 billion.

Stocks in Review

Rio Tinto jumped $1 to $56.30 and BHP gained 44 cents to $35.27.

Woodside Petroleum Limited fell 10 cents to $37.56.

David Jones Limited down 4 cents to $2.72 and Breville Group climbed 13 cent to $7.30. Woolworths slid 2 cents to $34.50.

Mirvac Group slipped 5 cents to $1.75. Lend Lease increased 22 cents to $10.30.

Westpac slipped 29 cents to $31.19, Commonwealth dropped 1.1% to $71.70 and National Australia Bank declined 1.2% to $32.71 and ANZ slumped 1.2% to $29.30.

Iluka Resources Limited soared 64 cents or 5.7% to $11.79 after the zircon producer lowered annual earnings outlook and plan to spin-off of its iron-ore royalty for about A$850 million or US$833 million. However, in an interview David Robb chief executive officer said “no firm decision has been taken,”

Myer Holdings Limited slipped 3 cents or 3.2% or $2.68 after the department store operator cautioned on the retail trading forecast and reported sales in the third quarter ending on April 27 rose 0.5% to $652.5 million and comparable sales edged up to 0.4%.

Newcrest Mining, Ltd. declined 73 cents or 4.7% to $14.87 after a New South Wales court invalid its exploration license covering 70% of its wholly owned exploration area in NSW. The court decision was in favor of junior explorer Gold and Copper Resources.

However, the company spokesperson said that only one of the four claims by Gold and Copper was validated by the curt and the overall decision was still “positive” for Newcrest.

Seven West Media Limited plunged 18 cents or 7.9% to $2.10 after the U.S based private equity firm KKR & Co sold its 12% stake holding valued at nearly A$261 in the company.

Stockland Corporation Limited dropped 11 cents or 2.8% to $3.87 after the residential developer raised $400 million through an institutional placement to reduce the debt and expand the retail development program.

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