5:00 PM Sydney – Australian stocks closed lower after trading sideways and investors looked overseas for future direction. BHP Billiton reported record production in five commodities and petroleum production increased less than expected 6% in the year to June. Billabong soared 34% on a debt purchase agreement.
Australian stocks closed lower but erased most of the losses in the session and investors looked overseas for a direction.
The ASX 200 index edged down 4.30 to close at 4,981.70 and the broader All Ordinaries inched lowered 2.1 to 4,966.50.
Australian dollar traded higher at 92.24 U.S. cents and in stock trading turnover jumped to 785 million shares worth $3.7 billion.
BHP Billiton reported in its annual production report for the year ending in June record results in seven operations and five commodities.
Western Australia focused iron ore mining production increased 7% to 169 million tons and metallurgical coal production surged 13% to 37.65 million tons in Queensland in the year to June.
Crude oil and natural gas production increased less than expected 6% and copper production at BHP’s mine in Chile rose 10% in the year to June. Silver production fell 9% and diamond production plunged 46%.
Stocks in Review
Rio Tinto climbed 63 cents to $56.15 and BHP jumped 76 cents to $34.19 after missing production guidance of iron ore for the year despite strong activities in fourth-quarter.
Rio Tinto said it increased its iron ore production in second quarter by 7% and added it is on track to lower its exploration spending by $750 million in the current year.
Woodside Petroleum Limited rose 4 cents to $37.45.
David Jones Limited slid 1 cent to $2.47 and Breville Group up 1 cent to $7.44. Woolworths added 1 cent to $33.69.
Mirvac Group fell 3 cents to $1.61. Lend Lease gained 5 cents to $8.99.
Westpac dropped 27 cents to $29.40 and Commonwealth declined 0.7% to $71.21. National Australia Bank slipped 0.2% to $30.03. ANZ slumped 35 cents to $28.80.
Iluka Resources Limited soared 4.7% to $10.91 after the zircon producer said sales of the material more than doubled in the first half of 2013 from a year earlier on strong demands in China and North America. Whilst weak demand of mineral sands production dropped in the June quarter.
The company lifted production estimate of the year and expects 280,000 metric tons compared to 220,000 tons a year ago.
Insurance Australia Group Limited gained 1.7% to $5.94 after the general insurance company lifted full-year forecast on insurance margins.