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Market Update

Australian Resource Stocks Decline, Trade Balance Swings to Deficit

Author: Marcus Jacob
Last Update: 9:50 AM ET September 05 2013

4:30 PM Sydney Australian market indexes recovered from the mid-day lows and trimmed loss to 0.4%. Weak commodities prices dragged resource stocks lower. Air New Zealand won regulatory approval to increase its stake in Virgin Australia to become the largest shareholder.

Australian stocks reacted to international geopolitical jitters and volatile commodities prices in Asia and in Europe.

Australian dollar jumped to 91.52 U.S. cents and in stock trading turnover gained to 791 million shares worth $4.6 billion.

The ASX 200 index fell 19.10 or 0.4% to close at 5,142.50 and the broader All Ordinaries slid 18.10 to 5,138.40.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics reported trade balance swung to a deficit of $765 million in July from surplus of $243 million in June.

Stocks in Review

Rio Tinto fell 36 cents to $61.19 and BHP slid 26 cents to $35.28. Woodside Petroleum Limited rose 6 cents to $38.95.

Westpac slipped 14 cents to $31.48 after the media reports the bank offers discount of 0.9 percentage points to new customers on home loans from a standard variable home loan rate of 5.98%.

Air New Zealand Limited dropped 3.2% to $1.21 after the New Zealand-based airliner received clearance from the competition watchdog to acquire additional 6% stake in Virgin Australia Holdings Ltd.

With the purchase, Air New Zealand will become the largest shareholder with a total stake of 25.9%.

Global Construction Services Limited surged 9.9% to 55.5 cents after the construction service provider won contract worth $10.4 million to work on office tower in central Perth.

Newcrest Mining, Ltd slipped 1.5% to $13.20 and the gold producer is under regulatory review by Australian Securities and Investments Commission the company will restrict its communications with investors and analysts after the internal review.

WorleyParsons Limited fell 1.4% to $21.80 after the professional service provider secured contract from Brazil based Vale SA to work on a rail infrastructure project to connect coal mine and Port of Nacala in the north-east of Mozambique.

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