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Market Update

Australian Home Leanding Eases, Stocks Trade Lower on Weak Banks

Author: Marcus Jacob
Last Update: 10:43 AM ET November 10 2014

5:30 PM Sydney Australian adjusted home loans in September decreased 0.7% followed by 0.9% decline in August. The number home loans issued in a month has consistently stayed at or above 50,000 in the year-so-far.

Australian market indexes lost 0.4% on the declines led by banks.

The benchmark index ASX 200 fell after Westpac Banking Corp traded ex-dividend and miners edged higher on a slight improvement in commodities prices.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics reported seasonally adjusted total number of home loans issued in September dropped 0.7% to 51,465 followed by 0.9% drop in August.

Total value of the home loans in September jumped 1.4% to $16.93 billion compared to revised 1.9% decline a month earlier from the initial estimate of 2% decrease.

In September, investment lending climbed 3.7% to $11.94 billion from upwardly revised 0.7% increase in August.

Australian dollar closed at 86.73 U.S. cents and in stock-trading turnover dropped to 764 million shares worth $5.07 billion.

ASX 200 Index slumped 25.10 or 0.4% to 5,524 and broader All Ordinaries Index fell 20.07 to 5,501.40.

In commodities trading, gold climbed US$38 to US$1,173 an ounce and light crude oil increased 74 cents to US$78.65 a barrel.

Australian Stock Movers

Mount Gibson Iron Limited soared 5.7% to 46.5 cents after the iron ore producer lowered full-year sales guidance to a range between 6 million tons and 6.4 million tons for the 2015 financial year after the resumed production in Main Pit of the Kimberley mine.

Suncorp Group Ltd rose 0.2% to $14.99 after the insurance company said total lending in the first-quarter ending in September dropped 0.9% due to prudent and targeted mortgage lending in a low-rate environment while its net interest margin increased.

The company reported impaired assets dropped 15.6% to $281 million and past-due loans in the quarter declined 3.6% to $423 million.

Retail lending fell 0.5% to $39.2 billion. Business lending slipped 2.4% or $257 million mainly due to the exit of a large commercial Queensland exposure.

Ten Network Holdings Limited jumped 1.9% to 27.5 cents on media reports that U.S. media and entertainment company Time Warner Inc offered 25 cents a share that valued the company at $680 million in exploratory merger talks.

Yancoal Australia Ltd tumbled 27.3% to 16 cents after the coal projects operator plans to issue a US$2.3 billion capital notes for subsidiary of China-based Yanzhou Coal Mining Co Ltd to refinance its debt.

The annual distribution rate for the notes may be set at 7% for the first five-years.

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