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Market Update

Australian Indexes Struggle Near 6-Year High


Author: Marcus Jacob
ticker.com
Last Update: 9:19 AM ET May 28 2014

5:00 PM Sydney Australian market indexes closed at six-year highs on the strength in banks. Precious metal miners declined after spot gold price dropped 2% to a three-month low. Qantas plans to eliminate 450 call centre jobs in Australia.

Australian stock market indexes closed at six-year highs after banks led the gainers but investors are increasingly worried about valuations.

Precious metal stocks closed lower after spot gold price declined 2% to US$1,264.96 an ounce.

Australian dollar slid to 92.65 U.S. cents and stock market trading turnover increased to 637 million shares worth $3.58 billion.

ASX 200 index rose 15.50 or 0.3% to 5,527.20 and the broader All Ordinaries gained 15.90 to 5,506.70.

Stocks in Review

Rio Tinto rose 19 cents to $61.40. BHP added 10 cents to $37.99. Woodside Petroleum Limited increased 0.6% to $42.11.

Westpac Banking Corp gained 18 cents to $34.50.

Aristocrat Leisure Limited climbed 3.3% to $5.34 after the gambling equipment maker reported revenue in the first-half ending in March jumped 7.7% to $409.90 million from $380.49 million a year ago.

Profit in the period soared 19.2% to $55.9 million compared to $46.9 million and diluted earnings per share increased to 10.4 cents from 9.5 cents a year earlier.

Leighton Holdings Limited jumped 2.9% to $20.32 after the engineering construction company was awarded a $330 million contract by Samsung C&T to construct the mine process plant facilities for the Roy Hill iron ore mine in Western Australia.

In a separate press note, the company said it secured contract worth US$395 million from Dubai International Real Estate in Port Saeed and work is scheduled to commence in the third-quarter.

Medical Developments International Ltd plunged 7.9% to $1.21 after the medical and veterinary equipment maker said it estimated sales in the year ending in June of $9.3 million and underlying profit of $0.75 million.

Stockland Corporation Ltd rose 0.3% to $3.88 and the shopping centers developer raised its offer for Australand Property Group to $2.02 billion and revised the valuation to $2.5 billion.

Qantas increased 1.1% to $1.39 and the national carrier announced to close call centres in Brisbane and Melbourne and eliminate 450 jobs.

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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