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Market Update

Australian Dollar at 2-month High, Iron Ore Prices at 2-year Low

Author: Marcus Jacob
Last Update: 8:52 AM ET June 13 2014

5:00 PM Sydney Australian stocks turned lower ahead of a 3-day weekend and Aussie dollar rose to a seven-month high and iron ore prices dropped to a 2-year low. Reserve Bank of Australia is scheduled to release its June board minutes of meeting on Tuesday.

Australian stocks dropped ahead of a 3-day weekend and Aussie dollar gained to a seven-month high.

Traders remained cautious after iron ore price futures dropped to a two-year low and precious metal and oil prices advanced. Also, rising Iraq tensions lifted oil prices by $2.35 to $106.45 a barrel after rebels gained control of the second largest city in Iraq and the government struggled to organize a military response.

Australian Bureau of Statistics reported seasonally adjusted bank loans to businesses in April increased 5.8% to $43.80 billion and home loans rose 1.4% to $16.91 billion but personal loans declined 2.2% to $7.95 billion.

Total lending in April jumped 3.5% to $69.4 billion, a six-year high.

Australian dollar climbed to 94.19 U.S. cents and stock trading turnover jumped to 831 million shares worth $5.38 billion.

ASX 200 index slipped 23.70 or 0.4% to 5,405.10 and the broader All Ordinaries fell 24.20 to 5,383.70. For the week, ASX 200 dropped 1.6%.

Stocks in Review

Aspire Mining Ltd closed unchanged at 0.035 cents after the coal producer agreed to acquire 50% stake in Mongolia-based Noble Group Ltd.

Axiom Mining Limited declined 5.5% to 0.017 cents after the mineral exploration company said revenue in the first-half ending in March surged 93% to $27 million from $14 million a year ago period.

Net loss in the period widened to $8.36 million compared to $2.93 million and diluted loss per share increased to 33 cents from 15 cents a year earlier.

Calibre Group Ltd slumped 2.5% to 39 cents after the engineering construction company secured order for work on the Hay Point coal terminal expansion in Queensland worth $79 million.

Mineral Resources Limited slipped 1.5% to $9.55 after the company confirmed the purchase of a $192 million strategic stake in Aquila Resources.

Qantas Airways Limited closed unchanged at $1.35 after the airline company said it will repay $450 million of senior unsecured bank debt eight months ahead of schedule and the settlement is expected to occur on August 20.

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