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Market Update

Australian Home Loans Fall 1.1%, ASX Index Rebounds

Author: Marcus Jacob
Last Update: 10:32 AM ET May 13 2014

5:00 PM Sydney – Australian stocks gained and the Aussie dollar traded at elevated level. Seasonally adjusted home loans in March declined 1.1% but home prices across capital cities increased 1.7%. PanAust Limited rejected a takeover from a China controlled investment company.

Stocks in Sydney trading gained after minerals and commodities priced advanced in Asian markets and in overnight trading indexes in the U.S. closed at record highs.

Australian dollar closed down at 93.41 U.S. cents and stock market trading turnover climbed to 863 million shares worth $5.22 billion.

The ASX 200 index gained 49.80 or 0.9% to 5,498.20 and the broader All Ordinaries increased 46.40 to 5,475.40

Home loans approvals across Australia decreased seasonally adjusted 1.1% in March, Australian Bureau of Statistics reported today.

Weighted average property prices in capital cities increased 1.7% in March quarter after rising 3.8% in December quarter, according to the ABS report.

Stocks in Review

Rio Tinto climbed $1.85 to $62.85. BHP jumped 80 cents to $37.96. Woodside Petroleum Limited gained 0.9% to $41.33.

Westpac Banking Corp increased 24 cents to $35.14.

Leighton Holdings Limited rose 1.9% to $20.19 after the Germany-based majority stocks holder Hochtief AG raised its stake in the company to nearly 70% and pave way for its restructuring.

Orica Limited declined 3.9% to $21.09 after the commercial explosives and blasting systems provider reported revenue in the first-half ending in March rose 1% to $3.36 billion from $3.32 billion a year ago.

Net profit in the period dropped 8% to $242.1 million compared to $262.5 million and earnings per share slumped 9% to 66 cents from 72.4 cents a year earlier.

PanAust Limited surged 34.2% to $2.12 after the Australia-based gold producer has rejected a cash takeover offer for a cash price of $2.30 per share from the Chinese state-owned investment firm Guangdong Rising Assets Management.

The miner said the offer price was “too low” for the board to recommend the offer to shareholders.

Ramsay Health Care Limited increased 1.6% to $46.31 after the Australia-based private hospitals operator and Credit Agricole SA agreed to acquire 83% stake in France-based private hospital operator Generale de Sante for $1.1 billion or €16.75 per share.

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