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Market Update

Australian Indexes Drop 1.3%, BHP Spins Off South32

Author: Marcus Jacob
Last Update: 8:59 AM ET May 18 2015

5:30 PM Sydney – Australian market indexes declined 1.3% and the Aussie dollar traded above 80 U.S. cents. Australian vehicles sales in April declined 1.5% to below 95,000. South32 Limited began trading as a separate mining company after BHP completed the spin-off.

Australian market indexes dropped in weak trading and the Aussie dollar gained against the U.S. dollar.

The seasonally adjusted of new motor vehicle sales in April dropped 1.5% to 94,888 compared to March but climb 2.5% from a year ago month, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said.

Sales of passenger cars and other vehicles declined 8.3% and 0.6% respectively but sports utility vehicles soared by 7.4%.

Australian dollar closed at 80.25 U.S. cents and in stock trading turnover gained to 742 million shares worth $5 billion.

At close, the ASX 200 Index declined 76.30 or 1.3% to 5,659.20 and the broader All Ordinaries Index dropped 70 to 5,660.

In commodities trading, gold climbed US$12 to US$1,230 an ounce and Brent crude gained 0.53 cents to close at US$67.34 a barrel.


South32 Limited was spun off my BHP Billiton Limited and slipped 4% to close at $2.05.

The mining company’s stock will trade on London Stock Exchange and Johannesburg Stock Exchange and the company will have mining assets in Australia, Brazil, Colombia, Mozambique and South Africa.

IQ3CORP Limited surged 66.7% to 50 cents after the lender and life science adviser priced its stock at 30 cents.

The stock opened 35 cents and closed at 50 cents.

Australian Stock Movers

DuluxGroup Limited plunged 5.5% to $6.19 after the paint and coating maker reported revenues in the first-half ending in March climbed 4% to $836.87 million form $804.45 million in a year ago period.

Net profit in the period tumbled 17.5% to $49.47 million compared to $60 million and diluted earnings per share dropped to 12.8 cents from 15.8 cents in the same period a year ago.

Elders Limited soared 5.4% to $3.35 after the agricultural company said net revenues in the first-half ending in March jumped 2% to $645.51 million form $631.63 million in a year ago period.

Net in the period swung to profit $15.9 million compared to a loss of $10.2 million and diluted earnings per share swung to 11 cents from diluted loss per share of 4.8 cents in the same period a year ago.

GWA Group Ltd fell 0.8% to $2.64 after the building fixtures supplier agreed to sell its Sydney-based Wetherill Park assets to Charter Hall Core Plus Industrial Fund for about $33 million.

Rio Tinto Limited slipped 1.1% to $57.45 after the mining company plans to divest its Pacific Aluminium division that owns smelters in Australia and New Zealand for as much as $1 billion.

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