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Market Update

Australian Indexes Halt 7-day Rally, Rio Tinto Extends CEO Contract

Author: Marcus Jacob
Last Update: 10:20 AM ET October 23 2014

5:30 PM Sydney – Australian market indexes halted a seven-day rally after the Aussie dollar eased and a private survey showed better than expected manufacturing outlook. In thin trading stocks meandered. Rio Tinto extended contract with Chief Executive Sam Walsh as the miner battles takeover overtures from Glencore PLC.

Australian indexes halted seven-day rally and the Aussie dollar eased after the resurgent U.S. dollar dominated currency trading.

At close, ASX 200 index declined 2.80 to 5,383.1 and the All Ordinaries eased 3.40 to close at 5,369.90.

In thin trading, 699 million shares changed hands worth $3.92 billion and the Aussie dollar closed at 87.59 U.S. cents.

Gold traded lower and closed at US$1,244 an ounce and light crude eased $1.97 to a four-year low of US$80.52 a barrel.

Better-than-expected economic outlook data from a private survey in China also helped market indexes open higher. But persistent selling in BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto pushed the indexes lower.

HSBC China Purchasing Managers Index improved to 50.4 in October, higher than final 50.2 in September. The preliminary index reading is likely to be revised in the next two weeks and any data higher than 50 indicates expansion.

Stock Movers

Huon Aquaculture Group Limited priced its initial public offering at $4.75 and the stock opened at $4.95 and closed at $4.80.

Oil Search fell 12 cents or 1.4% to $8.60 after the energy explorer reported 81% jump in third-quarter production and record revenues in the period after the company’s liquid natural gas project became fully operational.

Australian Pharmaceutical Industries increased 3 cents to 70 cents and announced 32% increase underlying profit but reported a loss in the first-half.

Boart Longyear Limited soared 8 cents or 53% to 23 cents and estimated a slight increase in profit in the third quarter and said demand for its drilling services may be stabilizing.

Toll Holdings Limited dropped 7.4% or 42 cents to $5.47 and the company estimated “tough” beginning of the fiscal first quarter but Managing Director Paul Kruger fell short of lowering fiscal 2015 earnings outlook.

Skilled Group Limited increased 5.4% to $2.34 after the staffing company reported first-quarter earnings soared 10% from a year period as the company focused on higher margin business.

SAI Global added 6.3% to $3.88 after the company signed an agreement with Encompass Corp to integrate its suite of publicly available data for individual and corporations.

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