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Market Update

Australian Indexes Extend Losses to Second Week


Author: Marcus Jacob
ticker.com
Last Update: 11:21 AM ET April 20 2015

5:30 PM Sydney Australian indexes extended weekly losses after China trimmed reserve ratio requirements for banks by 100 basis points, the largest cut since 2008. OZ Minerals said copper production rose 20% and gold production declined 9% in March quarter. Arrium tumbled 12%.

Market indexes in Sydney extended last week losses and China offered more stimulus but also cracked down on speculative stock trading.

Central bank trimmed the reserve requirement ratio by 100 basis-point to 18.5% following a sharp decline in market indexes on Friday after the China Securities Regulatory Commissioned made more share available for short selling and tightened margin lending rules.

Benchmark index in China rose 1.2% in the morning session but reversed market direction in the afternoon and closed down 1.6% for the day after regulators cracked down to curb speculative flow.

Australian dollar closed at 78.21 U.S. cents and in stock trading turnover dropped to 605 million shares worth $4.1 billion.

At close, the ASX 200 Index slipped 44.80 or 0.8% to 5,833.10 and the broader All Ordinaries Index fell 44.70 to 5,806.80.

In commodities trading, gold gained US$4 to US$1,205 an ounce and Brent crude edged up 0.03 cents to close at US$63.48 a barrel.

Australian Stock Movers

Arrium Ltd tumbled 11.8% to 15 cents, after the iron ore producer reported despite production increase in the third quarter ending in March, exports declined 7% from a year ago period to 3.06 million tons of ore.

The company said average price of iron ore during the quarter decline to US$62 a ton, US$12 a ton less in the second-quarter.

Karoon Gas Australia Limited gained 1.5% to $2.79 after the natural gas explorer confirmed the discovery of 213 meter gross oil column in the Echidna-1 exploration well in Brazil from wireline pressure data across the Paleocene and Maastrichtian aged reservoir intervals.

OZ Minerals Limited fell 0.5% to $3.89 after the copper and gold producer reported copper production in the quarter ending in March climbed 20% to 31,160 tons but gold production declined 9% to 32,874 ounces.

Slater & Gordon Limited declined 4.8% to $6.54 and the consumer law firm is nearing to finalize the deal to acquire professional service unit of the U.K.-based Quindell Plc.

Quindell shareholders approved the deal and Slater & Gordon is now awaiting regulatory approval.

The transaction is expected to close by the end of May.

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