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Market Update

Australian Markets Ease; Orica Lowers Earnings Outlook, Santos Falls

Author: Marcus Jacob
Last Update: 10:21 AM ET July 19 2013

5:00 PM Sydney Australian stocks traded lower after commodities prices eased and investors took profits. Orica Limited, the maker of explosive systems declined on weak earnings outlook. Santos Limited lowered its annual energy output.

Australian stocks opened slightly higher on the back of strong finish in New York but investors sold stocks in the first hour and market indexes failed to rebound.

The ASX 200 index slumped 21.30 or 0.4% to close at 4,972.10 and the broader All Ordinaries slipped 17.50 to 4,959.40. For the week, ASX 200 slid 0.04%.

Australian dollar traded lower at 91.76 U.S. cents and in stock trading turnover rose to 777 million shares worth $4.3 billion.

Stocks in Review

Rio Tinto slumped 47 cents to $56.23 and BHP slid 36 cents to $33.86. Woodside Petroleum Limited jumped 27 cents to $37.73.

David Jones Limited rose 2 cents to $2.46 and Breville Group added 5 cents to $7.63. Woolworths lowered 2cents to $33.30

Mirvac Group fell 2 cents to $1.63. Lend Lease declined 31 cents to $8.65.

Westpac dropped 42 cents to $29.26 and Commonwealth slid 0.4% to $71.46. National Australia Bank closed unchanged at $30.34 and ANZ slipped 13 cents to $28.82.

Orica Limited plummeted 13.4% to $18.19 after the explosives and blasting systems provider estimated earnings in the year to slip due to higher costs and weak demands in Europe and North America. The company estimated net profit in the year to decline 10% to $650.2 million a year ago.

Santos Limited declined 3.6% to $13.74 after the oil and gas producer lowered its annual output target for the year between 52 million and 55 million barrels of oil equivalent, 2.7% lower than the previous guidance.

Sydney Airport Holdings Limited jumped 2.2% to $3.64 after the airport operator said passenger numbers increased 2.7% in June, lifted by a surge in rugby sport competition related travel. Domestic passenger count climbed 2.4% to 1.93 million an international passenger jumped 3.6% to 1 million.

Billabong International Limited surged to 40 cents after a rival bid from Oaktree Capital Management and Centerbridge Partners challenged the debt refinancing agreement with Altamont Capital Partners. The two hedge funds after Takeover Panel to intervene.

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