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Market Update

Australian Stocks Rise on RBA Statement, Rio Tinto Production Up 12%

Author: Marcus Jacob
Last Update: 2:14 PM ET April 21 2015

5:30 PM Sydney Australian indexes traded higher and the Aussie dollar held firm after the RBA minutes of meeting suggested an easing bias. Rio Tinto said global iron ore production in the first-quarter increased by 12% shipment by 9%. Brambles estimate annual underlying profit to increase 13%.

Australian stocks opened higher after the Reserve Bank minutes of latest meeting in April showed an easing bias.

The central bank statement was widely interpreted as a possible easing as early as next meeting as long as the economic data suggest that the price pressure remain weak and in-line with expectations of the policymakers.

Australian dollar closed at 76.90 U.S. cents and in stock trading turnover rose to 655 million shares worth $4.5 billion.

At close, the ASX 200 Index jumped 39.20 or 0.7% to 5,872.30 and the broader All Ordinaries Index increased 37.20 to 5,844.

In commodities trading, gold plunged US$10 to US$1,195 an ounce and Brent crude slid 0.36 cents to close at US$63.09 a barrel.

Australian Stock Movers

Brambles Limited slumped 2.4% to $11.04 after the logistics company reported total revenue in the third-quarter ending in March of US$4.04 billion and forecasted operating profit between US$1.06 billion to US$1.09 billion.

The third-quarter results are scheduled to release on April 21.

Novogen Limited tumbled 30.1% to 29 cents after the biotechnology company plans to issue 98.7 million new shares at 30 cents per share and raise up to $30.50 million.

Oil Search Limited fell 0.1% to $8.09 after the oil and gas explorer estimated total revenue for the three months to March to surge to US$472.3 million and reaffirmed its full-year production guidance between 26 million to 28 million barrels of oil equivalent.

Rio Tinto Limited jumped 1.5% to $55.50 after the mining company reported total iron-ore shipment in first-quarter ending in March climbed 9% to 72.5 million metric tons from a year ago period but declined 12% from the previous quarter.

The company reaffirmed its full-year forecast for iron-ore shipments to nearly 350 million tons.

The miner said global iron ore production in the quarter soared 12% to 74.7 million metric tons but dropped 6% compared to fourth-quarter.

Sydney Airport Holdings Ltd increased 0.5% to $5.37 and the airport operator said international traffic in March soared 8.9% from a year ago month.

The airport operator said travelers from India in March month climbed 7.5% on Lunar New year celebrations and the ICC Cricket World Cup.

Domestic traffic in the month jumped 4.2% on the Royal Easter show and Taste of Sydney festival.

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