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Market Update

Australian Jobless Rate Falls, Fortescue Q3 Production Rises 19%

Author: Mukesh Buch
Last Update: 9:23 AM ET April 16 2015

5:30 PM Sydney – Australian market indexes rebounded after a decline in jobless rate and a slight rise in motor vehicle sales. The recent one-week-long rise in crude oil prices lifted energy stocks. Fortescue Metals, the third largest iron ore miner in Australia, reported 9% decline in cash cost to $25.90 a ton.

Australian market indexes traded higher following a week-long surge in crude oil prices.

Indexes were powered also by the decline in jobless rate and a slight increase in motor vehicle sales.

Seasonally adjusted unemployment in March decreased to 6.1% compared to revised 6.2% in February, the Australian Bureau of Statistics announced today.

The seasonally adjusted number of people unemployed in March decreased by 1,500 to 764,500.

The department said seasonally adjusted number of people employed in March climbed by 37,700 to 11,720,300.

In a separate report the department said seasonally adjusted total motor vehicle sales in March increased 0.5% to 96,158 vehicles compared to February but climbed 4.4% from a year go month.

Australian dollar closed at 77.50 U.S. cents and in stock trading turnover slid to 760 million shares worth $4.9 billion.

At close, the ASX 200 Index gained 39.10 or 0.7% to 5,947.50 and the broader All Ordinaries Index increased 40.30 to 5,917.60.

In commodities trading, gold jumped US$11 to US$1,205 an ounce and Brent crude slipped 48 cents to close at US$62.84 a barrel.


Proteomics International Laboratories Ltd, the healthcare and biotech company priced its stock at 20 cents in the initial public offering.

Stock opened at 23.5 cents and a closed at 22.5 cents.

Australian Stock Movers

AWE Limited surged 11.1% to $1.40 after the gas and energy producer said the Irwin-1 exploration well of onshore Perth Basin successfully installed 9 5/8 inch intermediate casing at 2,768 meter ahead to the planned final depth of 4,064 meter.

Chandler Macleod Group Limited closed unchanged at 52.5 cents after the human resource provider agreed to be acquired by Japan-based Recruit Holdings Co Ltd for 53 cents per share or about $290.4 million or 26.7 billion yen.

Fortescue Metals Group Limited climbed 5.4% to $1.96 after the iron ore producer said production in the third-quarter ending in March climbed 19% to 37 million tons from 31.2 million tons in a year ago period and cash costs declined 9% to US$25.90 per ton.

In the quarter, the company shipped 40.4 million tons for an average price of US$48 per ton, 28% higher shipment than a year ago period.

As of March, Fortescue said it has continued to generate “positive cash margins” and increased cash on hand to US$1.8 billion.

At the end of March quarter, the company’s net debt remained steady at US$7.4 billion.

Iluka Resources Limited plunged 7.9% to $7.70 after the mineral sands explorer reported revenue in the first-quarter ending in March declined 11.9% to $115.2 million and total mineral sands production tumbled 24.4% to 167.2 kilo tons from a year ago period.

Telstra Corporation Ltd rose 0.6% to $6.23 after the communications services provider completed the acquisition of Pacnet Limited, data centre services provider in the Asia-Pacific region for about US$697 million.

The transaction is expected to complete in mid-2015.

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