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Market Update

Australian Dollar Weakenes on Lower Iron Ore Prices

Author: Marcus Jacob
Last Update: 10:24 AM ET November 20 2014

5:30 PM Sydney – Australian market indexes declined on the persistent weakness in the iron ore price. Commodities and base metals fell dragging lower the smaller mining companies. Australian dollar weakened to 85.91 U.S. cents.

Australian market indexes traded lower led by losses in resource sector after the iron ore price declined and other base metals closed lower.

Market indexes were also on the defensive after Wesfarmers and Woolworths fell.

Woolworth revised its agreement with petrol retailer Caltex and will exclude the sale of fuel from its financial results after the changes in agreement with the fuel retailer.

Australian dollar decreased to 85.91 U.S. cents and in stock-trading turnover gained to 776 million shares worth $4.76 billion.

ASX 200 Index slumped 52.60 or 0.9% to 5,316.20 and broader All Ordinaries Index dropped 50 to 5,302.50.

In commodities trading, gold declined US$15 to US$1,194 an ounce and light crude oil fell 3 cents to US$74.61 a barrel.

Australian Stock Movers

Sonic Healthcare Limited plunged 6.6% to $17.18 after the medical diagnostic equipment maker reported revenues in the year ending in September climbed 12.3% to $3.91 billion from $3.48 billion a year ago period.

Net profit to surged 14.9% to $395 million compared to $335 million and earnings per share jumped 13.3% to 95.5 cents from 84.3 cents from a year ago period.

Wesfarmers Ltd slipped 1.8% to $42.10 after the department store retailer received approvals from Australian competition regulator to acquire Workwear Group from the Pacific Brands Limited for $180 million.

Woolworths Limited dropped 2.9% to $31.30 after the food and liquor retailer announced changes with Caltex for the petrol sale business.

Under the revised arrangements, 92 Caltex operated sites will be rebranded to “Star Mart” or “Star Shop” convenience stores.

In the interim result, the company said sales in the quarter ending in September climbed 11.9% and general merchandise sales jumped 7.2% and comparable stores sales rose 2.6%.

Excluding the impact of David Jones, sales climbed 11.9% and food sales surged by 13.3%.

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