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Market Update

Australian Markets Halt Slide, Weekly Loss of 1.6%

Author: Marcus Jacob
Last Update: 10:17 AM ET April 19 2013

6:30 PM Sydney Australian stocks closed higher on the final day of the week. The ASX 200 index declined 1.6% during the volatile week when resource companies plunged more than 5%. QBE Insurance Group agreed to settle charges with New York regulators for $9.7 million.

Australian stocks closed higher but spent most of the session in the negative zone as global economic worries persisted.

The ASX 200 index edged up 7.50 to 4,931.90 and the broader All Ordinaries gained 11.70 to 4,923.

For the week, the ASX 200 index declined 1.6% in a week when miners plunged more than 5% after gold continued its three-month slide.

Australian dollar closed up $1.034 and in stock trading, turnover decreased to 823 million shares valued at $4.1 billion.

Stock Movers

Mining stocks rebounded a day after heavy selling in weak trading environment in the week.

Rio Tinto confirmed at its annual meeting in London that the purchase of Alcan six years ago was a mistake and the company is likely to focus on other commodities.

Rio Tinto soared $2.25 or 4.3% to $54.32 and BHP jumped 75 cents to $31.40. Fortescue Metals Group surged 34 cents or 9.9% to $3.77.

For the year BHP stock has declined 13% and Rio Tinto has fallen 16.6%.

Woodside Petroleum Limited declined after the company ended its talk with other natural gas field producers after it shelved its Pluto LNG venture.

Woodside Petroleum increased 24 cents to $34.10 and Santos jumped 27 cents to $11.65.

Newcrest Mining soared 76 cents or 4.8% to $16.65, Kingsgate surged 22 cents or 9.2% to $2.62 and Whitehaven Coal closed unchanged at $1.92.

QBE Insurance Group Limited agreed to pay $9.5 million in a settlement with New York regulators for insuring troubled mortgages.

Optus, controlled by Singapore Telecom Limited won a $60 million contract with Suretek to deliver fixed network and high speed mobile services.

David Jones Limited closed unchanged at $2.93 and Breville Group closed unchanged at $6.61. Billabong rose 0.5 cents to 49.5 cents.

Woolworths slipped 7 cents to $35.49. Kathmandu fell 1 cent to $1.97.

Harvey Norman slid 6 cents to $2.74 after the furniture retailer said third quarter sales increased 0.6% to $1.28 billion.

Toll Holdings added 4 cents to $5.57, Leighton jumped 55 cents to $19.21 and Mirvac Group up 1 cents to $1.72. Lend Lease decreased 13 cents to $10.23.

Westpac declined 62 cents to $31.23, Commonwealth slid 0.3% to $68.78 and National Australia Bank slumped 1.7% to $31.45 and ANZ dropped 57 cents to $28.41.

Macquarie Group fell 27 cents to $35.98 and Wesfarmers slipped 46 cents to $41.76.

Nufarm gained 7 cents to $4.01 and Linc Energy closed unchanged at $1.86.

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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