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Market Update

Australian Dollar, Stocks Fall; Orica Surges 11%

Author: Marcus Jacob
Last Update: 9:08 AM ET November 11 2013

4:30 PM Sydney – Australian stocks closed lower and banks led the most active list in thin trading. Orica Limited soared 11% after it reported annual net income surged 49%. Elders Limited plunged 15% after it estimated a loss.

Australian stocks opened higher and gained more after markets in Asia advanced in morning. However, at close market indexes closed lower in thin trading.

Investors focused on domestic earnings and banks lead the most actively traded stock list.

Australian dollar declined to 93.88 U.S. cents. In stock trading, turnover dropped to 741 million shares worth $3.7 billion.

The ASX 200 index fell 13.60 to close at 5,387.10 and the broader All Ordinaries slid 13.60 to 5,380.80.

Stocks in Review

Rio Tinto slid 18 cents to $65.07 and BHP fell 4 cents to $37.91.

Woodside Petroleum Limited slipped 8 cents to $39.16 after the Israeli media reports suggested that the oil and gas explorer is interested in acquiring a stake in Neta and Roy licenses owned by Ratio Oil Explorati.

Westpac declined 6 cents to $33.12.

Orica Limited surged 11.6% to $21.81 after the explosives and blasting system provider said revenue in the in the year ending in September grew 3% to $6.99 billion from $6.674 billion in the last year. Net income for the year soared 49.4% to $601.6 million compared to $402.8 million a year ago.

Orica said its 2014 net income is expected to surpass 2013 profit.

The company today signed an agreement with Esso Australia Resources Pty Ltd and BHP Billiton Petroleum (Bass Strait) Pty Ltd for three-year to sell natural gas from Longford in Victoria from 2017.

Dexus Property Group rose 0.9% to $1.07 and media reports suggested that Australia-based industrial and retail property developer and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board signed an agreement with Commonwealth Bank of Australia to buy the bank’s listed office trust for $2.83 billion.

Transurban Group fell 0.4% to $7.04 after the toll roads operator agreed to buy the Royal Bank of Scotland''s $475 million debt exposure to the Cross City Tunnel in Sydney.

Slater & Gordon Limited gained 1.2% to $4.15 and the law firm is in talks to acquire UK-based legal firm Pannone LLP. The law firm also said it has $30 million set aside for the purchase and this would be its fifth UK law firm acquisition.

National Australia Bank Limited slid 0.6% to $34.56 after the bank successfully deployed a new SWIFT payments gateway and the bank increased its hybrid offer to $750 million from $500 million to cap second issue this year at $1 billion.

Elders Limited plunged 14.8% to 11.5 cents after the rural services provider expects to post annual loss of $510 million, on impairments and other non-recurring items.

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