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Market Update

Australian Stocks Advance, Leighton Faces Class Action Suit


Author: Marcus Jacob
ticker.com
Last Update: 11:29 AM ET October 30 2013

4:30 PM Sydney Australian stocks in a choppy trading closed higher and the dollar edged lower. Leighton said it will defend a class action law suit that is linked to its outlook revision from profit to loss in late 2010 and early 2011.

Stocks in Sydney traded higher and investors focused on domestic earnings ahead of U.S. Fed policy announcement at the end of business day in New York.

Australian dollar declined to 94.83 U.S. cents. In stock trading, turnover rose to 739 million shares worth $4.5 billion.

The ASX 200 index gained 15.40 or 0.3% to close at 5,430.90 and the broader All Ordinaries rose 14.70 to 5,425.40.

Stocks in Review

Rio Tinto rose 3 cents to $63.44 and BHP gained 8 cents to $37.67. Woodside Petroleum Limited increased 19 cents to $38.84.

Westpac jumped 30 cents to $34.90.

Insurance Australia Group Limited jumped 2.9% to $6.11 after the insurance company said it is on track to meet its full-year 2014 guidance.

Leighton Holdings Limited gained 0.9% to $17.80 and the civil and engineering construction company was the subject of a class action lawsuit from Law firm Maurice Blackburn and shareholders. The suit claims between Aug. 16, 2010 and April 11, 2011 disclosure by the builder revised its profit forecast for the fiscal 2011.

Leighton reported full year loss of $427 million in financial year 2011, due to $1.1 billion write-downs related to those projects for that, just two months after the company forecasted $480 million net profit.

Macmahon Holdings Limited closed unchanged at 14 cents after the mining services provider sold its 25% of Express Rail Link project in Hong Kong to Leighton Asia.

Telstra Corporation Limited rose 0.2% to $5.17 after the communications and information service provider sued NBN Co to the New South Wales Supreme Court over a $100 million payment dispute.

Today the company said it will offer iPad Air from November 1 and iPad mini later in November.

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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