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Market Update

Australian Dollar Decline Extends to Eighth Week

Author: Marcus Jacob
Last Update: 1:45 PM ET December 15 2013

4:30 PM Sydney Australian indexes gained and the Aussie dollar eased against international currencies. Commercial finance commitments in October declined 3.9%, the statistics office reported. GUD Holdings declined after earnings fell.

Australian stocks declined for the sixth day in a row and energy, mining and banking stocks led the declined.

Australian dollar slumped to 89.25 U.S. cents. Stock trading turnover declined to 779 million shares worth $4.8 billion.

For the week, the Aussie declined 2% as the Reserve Bank of Australia actively sought to weaken the currency since October and targeted 85 cents to a U.S. dollar.

Australian dollar extended its loss for the eighth week in a row and, the longest weekly decline period since March 1985.

The ASX 200 index increased 35.90 or 0.7% to close at 5,098.40 and the broader All Ordinaries gained 32.30 to 5,101.50. For the week, ASX 200 slipped 1.7%.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics reported commercial finance commitments in October declined 3.9% to $34.34 billion. Lease finance rose 1.1% to $383 million and housing finance for owner occupied residences increased 1.7% to $16.185 billion.

Stocks in Review

Rio Tinto slid 5 cents to $65.09.

BHP jumped 31 cents to $35.85 oil and gas producer, is studying expansion in Trinidad and Tobago as a third production region along with the U.S. and Australia.

Woodside Petroleum Limited climbed 54 cents to $37.75.

Westpac gained 18 cents to $31.

ANZ Banking Group fell 0.3% to $30.25 after the bank decided to refrain its standard variable home loan rate unchanged at 5.88% in December meeting regulatory requirement.

Crown Resorts Limited dropped 4.3% to $15.90 and gaming and entertainment group said it is in talks with the Victorian government including new casino gaming machine levy of $22,715 a year per machine.

GUD Holdings Limited declined 3.7% to $5.15 after the cleaning products maker estimated earnings-before-interest-and-tax dropped 20% in the 2013 financial year and underlying net profit-after-tax slumped 15% to $37.4 million.

Wesfarmers Limited rose 0.5% to $41.30 after the conglomerate said its chemicals, energy and fertiliser unit agreed to sell its 40% stake in the Western Australian-based industrial gas producer ALWA to Air Liquide Australia Ltd.

Yancoal Australia Limited jumped 2.8% to 74 cents after coal producer reached an agreement for loan facility with major shareholder Yanzhou Coal Mining Company Limited for $250 million for five-and-a-half years.

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