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Market Update

Australian Markets Trim Early Losses

Author: Marcus Jacob
Last Update: 9:28 AM ET May 20 2014

5:00 PM Sydney – Australian market indexes closed higher after stocks searched for a direction in early trading. Telstra closed at a new high. Treasury Wines gained after a takeover offer from KKR. Consumer confidence index declined according to a private poll.

Trading volume continued to shift to smaller stocks highlighting the pattern in place for the last three months.

Australian dollar declined to 92.87 U.S. cents and stock market trading turnover dropped to 683 million shares worth $3.93 billion.

The ASX 200 index gained 11.40 or 0.2% to 5,420.40 and the broader All Ordinaries rose 11.40 to 5,401.70.

A private survey conducted ANZ- Roy Morgan showed additional decline and fell in the last week.

The index dropped 3.2% to 100.4 and the index has plunged 14% in the month since Federal Budget negotiations began. In one month, the index has dropped the most since 2008.

Stocks in Review

Rio Tinto slid 5 cents to $60.05. BHP rose 2 cents to $37.45. Woodside Petroleum Limited fell 0.5% to $40.92.

Westpac Banking Corp slipped 10 cents to $33.68.

Fortescue Metals Group Limited climbed 3.9% to $4.54 after the iron ore producer discovered additional 1.16 billion tons at its Greater Solomon Mineral Resource.

The company said total mineral resource in the Greater Solomon area now jumped to more than 4.5 billion tons.

Ruralco Holdings Ltd gained 0.8% to $3.68 after the rural products sales and marketing company reported sales in the first-half ending in March jumped 13.7% to $544.6 million from $478.8 million a year ago period.

Net in the period swung to profit $5.1 million or 8.4 cents earnings per share compared to a loss of $0.5 million or 10 cents a year earlier.

Thorn Group Ltd fell 0.4% to $2.19 after the household products leasing company said revenue in the year ending in March climbed 16% to $234.85 million from $203.20 million a year ago.

Profit in the year rose 1% to $28.15 million compared to $28.02 million and diluted earnings per share slipped to 18.91 cents from 19.09 cents a year earlier.

Treasury Wine Estates Ltd surged 17.9% to $4.80 after the wine maker rejected acquisition offer of $2.85 billion from the U.S.-based Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P.

KKR offered $4.70 per share to acquire wine maker that represents a 15% premium over company’s yesterday closing price of $4.07.

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