6:30 PM Sydney – Australian stocks closed higher and the iron ore prices edged lower after a private survey in China indicated a slower manufacturing expansion in February. QBE is scheduled to release earnings tomorrow. Beach Energy and Chevron partner for shale gas exploration in South Australia.
Australian stocks pared morning rally after a private survey in China indicated a slowdown in manufacturing growth and Italy is heading for a minority government.
A private survey conducted by HSBC Plc showed manufacturing index declined to 50.4 in February from 52.3 in January. The measure above 50 still indicated an expansion but the growth rate has declined.
The ASX 200 index advanced 37.70 or 0.8% to 5,055.80 and the broader All Ordinaries increased 36.03 to 5,072.75.
The Australian dollar declined to $1.032.
Mining companies were flat or declined after the iron ore prices fell 1.7% to US$153.60 a ton.
Rio Tinto slumped 57 cents to $66.15 and BHP up 3 cents to $36.90. Lend Lease jumped 30 cents to $10.80. Fortescue Metals Group slid 8 cents to $4.75.
Woodside Petroleum dropped 70 cents to $37 and Santos advanced 38 cents to $12.43.
Beach Energy soared 6% to $1.37 on media reports that the U.S. based Chevron agreed to pay US$349 million to partner in its South Australian and Queensland shale gas operations.
Transpacific Industries gained 1.5 cents to 91.5 cents after the company reported first half profit increased to $32.3 million from $7.8 million in the period a year ago.
Westpac increased 1.7%, Commonwealth rose 0.3% and National Australian Bank added 1.5% and ANZ increased 1.1%.
QBE declined 1.1% to $13 as the company is scheduled to release its second half earnings tomorrow.
Billabong, the surfwear retailer declined 2.5 cents to 83.5 cents.
Qantas added 1 cent to $1.64 and Ten Network soared 7% to 31.5 cents after the company ousted its chief executive and replaced with Hamish McLennan.