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Market Update

Australian Indexes Soar 1.1%, BHP on Track to Split in Six Months

Author: Marcus Jacob
Last Update: 10:27 AM ET November 24 2014

5:30 PM Sydney – Australian indexes soared more than 1% after Chine unexpectedly lowered interest rate. Resource companies led the market advance and BHP said it is on track to complete the company split in the first-half of 2015. ALS Limited, the mineral testing company, reported better-than-expected profit.

Australian market indexes surged and extended yearly advance after hopes rose on the unexpected rate cut in China.

On Friday, after the market close in Australia, the People’s Bank of China cut rates and also allowed banks to set rates with higher flexibility.

The unexpected move is not likely to have a material impact on the slowing Chinese economic growth but it will lighten the interest rate burden on large state controlled Chinese companies.

Australian dollar rose to 86.90 U.S. cents and in stock-trading turnover fell to 667 million shares worth $4 billion.

ASX 200 Index climbed 57.50 or 1.1% to 5,361.80 and broader All Ordinaries Index jumped 56.90 to 5,349.

In commodities trading, gold increased US$5 to US$1,199 an ounce and light crude oil gained 66 cents to US$76.51 a barrel.

Australian Stock Movers

ALS Ltd surged 17.9% to $5.28 after the testing and inspection service provider reported revenues in the first-half ending in September jumped 3.3% to $769.1 million from $744.7 million a year ago period.

Net profit in the period plunged 40.2% from a year ago to $58.4 million compared to $97.7 million and diluted earnings per share declined to 14.7 cents from 27.1 cents.

BHP Billiton Limited climbed 3.8% to $32.90 after the mining company forecasted $4 billion productivity gains for the year in its core portfolio by June 2017, $500 million more than in the previous guidance of $3.5 billion.

Charter Hall Group gained 0.9% to $4.50 after the property developer agreed to acquire six industrial assets through three of its managed funds valued at $171.4 million that are leased to the Australasian poultry producer Inghams Enterprises.

Paladin Energy Limited closed unchanged at 38 cents after the uranium miner plans to raise $205 million and cover the upcoming bond repayments to 2016.

The issue consists, 145 million shares to the Singapore based private equity firm HOPU Clean Energy at $0.42 each and 1-for-2 underwritten entitlement offering to raise additional $144 million from investors at 26 cents per share.

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