6:30 PM Sydney – Australian stocks and dollar declined as investors worried about the global market conditions after the U.S. automatic spending cuts kick in on Friday midnight.
Stocks in Australian closed lower but closed higher in the week and in the month of February. The Australian dollar edged lower and traded near its low for the year on the growing worries about minerals exports to China.
The ASX 200 index slipped 18 or 0.3% to 5,086.10 and the broader All Ordinaries decreased 19.50 to 5,100.88.
For the week, the ASX 200 index increased 1.4% and for February the index climbed 3.4%.
The Australian dollar declined to $1.025.
In trading, turnover on all exchanges was stable at 1.8 billion shares worth $4.6 billion changed hands. Of the stocks traded, 412 decreased, 623 increased and 323 closed unchanged.
Rio Tinto dropped 97 cents to $66.08 and BHP slipped 23 cents to $36.84. Lend Lease slid 7 cents to $10.58. Fortescue Metals Group declined 19 cent or 4% to $4.53.
Sirius Resources soared 38% to $2.85 after the mineral miner reported a nickel discovery at its Frasers mining operations in Western Australia.
Woodside Petroleum slumped 35 cents to $37.15 and Santos fell 16 cents to $13.25.
Westpac up 0.8% to $31.03, Commonwealth added 0.9% to $67.85 and National Australian Bank rose 0.7% to $30.40 and ANZ slid 0.4% to $28.62.
QBE jumped 29 cents to $13.67.
Ten Network increased 3 cents to 34.75 cents on the speculation that Seven Group chairman Kerry Stokes is adding to his stake in the company.