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Market Update

Australian Markets Halt 5-Day Slide, Woodside to Restart Gas Exploration

Author: Marcus Jacob
Last Update: 8:36 AM ET May 28 2013

5:00 PM Sydney Australian stock indexes turned higher after five days of losses. Australian dollar remained weak and traded near one-year low. Woodside Petroleum plans to restart natural gas exploration. Cabcharge Australia dropped the most after Victoria government lowered card payment fees for taxis.

Australian markets turned higher after a 5-day decline and resources linked stocks and banks were in focus.

The ASX 200 index gained 10.80 to 4,970.70 and the broader All Ordinaries rose 10 to 4,950.60.

Australian dollar gained to 96.50 cents against the U.S. dollar and in stock trading turnover slumped to 748 million worth $4 billion.

Stocks in Review

Rio Tinto fell 23 cents to $52.88 and BHP lowered 3 cents to $33.98.

Woodside Petroleum Limited slipped 15 cents to $36.68 after the oil and gas explorer is facing expansion costs at home and plan to investment about $5 billion in projects globally.

Chief Executive Peter Coleman said the company plans to restart its efforts to find natural gas but is not anxious to make new acquisitions.

The company leased the 2 rigs for new Pluto exploration and plans to start drilling by first quarter of next year. Woodside put an expansion of its $15 billion Pluto gas-export facility in Western Australia on hold last year.

David Jones Limited jumped 7 cents to $2.63 and Breville Group added 7 cent to $7.20. Woolworths slid 21 cents to $32.90.

Mirvac Group closed unchanged at $1.68. Lend Lease rose 6 cents to $10.11.

Westpac increased 25 cents to $29.47, Commonwealth up 0.6% to $68.60 and National Australia Bank down 0.4% to $31.12 and ANZ added 0.8% to $28.08.

Chevron Corporation intends to sell additional quantity of liquefied natural gas from its Gorgon project in Australia.

New Hope Corporation Limited declined 4.2% to $3.62 after due to higher operating costs; the coal miner has cut output at West Moreton operations in Queensland from 1.1 million tonnes to 700 thousand tones per annum.

Virgin Australia Holdings Limited closed unchanged at 43.5 cents after the airline won the approval for its purchase of 60% stake in Tiger Airways from the Foreign Investment Review Board.

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