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Market Update

Australian Indexes Struggle on Weak Iron Ore Prices

Author: Marcus Jacob
Last Update: 11:54 AM ET May 21 2014

5:00 PM Sydney – Australian market indexes struggled and declined at close on the persistent weakness in iron ore prices. The wage price index in the March quarter increased 0.7%, the slowest pace in 16 years. Woodside Petroleum Limited walked away from its joint venture in Israel.

Australian market indexes traded lower after iron prices dropped to the low of the year and reached at the level last seen in 2012.

Australian dollar slipped to 92.34 U.S. cents and stock market trading turnover gained to 745 million shares worth $4.44 billion.

The ASX 200 index edged up 4.20 to 5,424.60 and the broader All Ordinaries rose 2.20 to 5,403.90.

Iron ore price declined to $97 a ton, landed in China, the lowest since 2012. The price in the spot market has been declining for three months in a row.

Wage price index increased 0.7% in the March quarter, according to the ABS data released today. The private sector increase was slower at 0.6% and public sector wage rise was 0.8%.

Stocks in Review

Rio Tinto slipped 65 cents to $59.40. BHP fell 28 cents to $37.17.

Woodside Petroleum Limited gained 0.7% to $41.23 and the oil producer walked away from the long-awaited plans to acquire Leviathon joint venture in Israel of about $2.6 billion.

Westpac Banking Corp slid 1 cent to $33.67.

CSL Limited rose 0.1% to $68.86 after the biopharmaceutical company completed its share buyback valued more than $622.7 million.

Qantas Airways Limited slipped 1.2% to $1.23 after the airline company said it no longer plans to add capacity on domestic routes in the July-September period and total domestic capacity growth will be zero for the first three months of next year.

Sirius Resources NL jumped 2.6% to $3.16 after the mineral exploration company said its license application of Nova Nickel Project is approved by Goldfields Lands and Sea Council.

Telstra Corporation Ltd jumped 1.1% to $5.36 after the networking and network security provider plans to create one of the world’s largest Wi-Fi networks to perform $100 million-plus strategy on connectivity across the country.

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