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Market Update

Australian Stocks Halt 3-Day Sell-Off, Jobless Rate Held at 6.2%

Author: Marcus Jacob
Last Update: 4:47 PM ET October 15 2015

5:30 PM Sydney, Australia ASX 200 index in Sydney closed higher and ended a 3-day sell-off and jobless rate held at 6.2% in September. New motor vehicle sales in the month increased 5.5%. Australian dollar strengthened for the third day in a row.

Market indexes in Sydney ended a 3-day sell-off despite the latest jobless rate was ahead of expectations.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in September held at 6.2% and unchanged from the previous month, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said.

The number of unemployed persons declined 8,100 to 772,500 and participation rate edged down 64.9% from 65% in August.

Separately, the department said the seasonally adjusted total number of new motor vehicle sales in September jumped 5.5% to 100,372 followed by the downwardly revised 1.7% decline in August.

Compared to August, sales of passenger and sports utility vehicles in September rose by 0.4% and 2.1% respectively while other vehicles sales decreased by 1.3%.

Australian dollar closed at 73.17 U.S. cents and in stock trading turnover edged up to 745 billion shares worth $4.5 billion.

At close, the ASX 200 Index increased 32.70 or 0.6% to 5,230 and the broader All Ordinaries Index gained 35.20 to 5,265.60.

In commodities trading, gold jumped US$11 to US$1,185 an ounce and Brent crude future for immediate month delivery fell 27 cents to US$48.88 a barrel.

Australian Stock Movers

Asciano Ltd plunged 7.6% to $7.88 after the Competition and Consumer Commission raised concerns over a planned $6.5 billion takeover offer from Canada''s Brookfield Asset Management.

BHP Billiton Limited advanced 1.8% to $25.12 after the resource conglomerate issued hybrid securities total of about US$6.5 billion in two tranches, in the U.S. dollar, euros and pounds to refinance the debt.

CSL Limited fell 0.3% to $88.99 after the biopharmaceutical company launched buyback program for additional $1 billion in the next 12 months.

Between October 2014 and June 2015, the company repurchased 10.59 million shares worth about $950 million.

The plasma products developer lifted net income outlook to increase by 5% on a constant currency basis.

Iluka Resources Limited gained 0.9% to $7.36 after the zircon and titanium dioxide producer reported revenues in the third-quarter ending in September surged 25.9% from a year ago to $185.9 million.

The miner said production of zircon in the quarter of jumped to 198,100 tons from 189,300 thousand tons in second-quarter and soared from 140,500 tons from the same period a year ago.

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