5:30 PM Sydney, Australia – Australian market indexes gained and the Aussie dollar hovered below 73 U.S. cents. BHP Billiton reported iron ore production in fiscal first-quarter soared 7% to a record high. Sydney Airport said September traffic increase was driven by a sustained increase of tourists from India and China.
Australian market indexes traded higher and market sentiment was boosted after BHP reported record iron ore production.
Resource sector stocks were in focus after BHP said iron ore production in fiscal first-quarter jumped 7% and the conglomerate plans to trim capital spending in oil exploration.
Australian dollar closed at 72.71 U.S. cents and in stock trading turnover slid to 680 billion shares worth $4.3 billion.
At close, the ASX 200 Index gained 12.70 or 0.2% to 5,248.30 and the broader All Ordinaries Index increased 14.90 to 5,286.50.
In commodities trading, gold rose US$9 to US$1,178 an ounce and Brent crude future for immediate month delivery slid 20 cents to US$48.51 a barrel.
Integral Diagnostics Limited
declined 4.2% to $1.83 after the diagnostic imaging service provider priced its stock at $1.91.
The stock opened at $1.94 and closed at $1.83.
Australian Stock Movers
BHP Billiton Limited
jumped 1% to $24.23 after the mining company reported iron ore production in the first-quarter ending in September soared 7% 61.3 million tons and also maintained its full-year production outlook.
Copper production in the quarter dropped 3% to 377,000 tons and petroleum capital expenditure was lowered to US$2.9 billion for fiscal 2016, a 6% decline from the prior estimate of US$3.1 billion.
For fiscal 2016, the miner forecasted 247 million tons of iron ore production, 237 million barrels of crude oil, 1.5 million tons of copper and 80 million tons of coal.
Crown Resorts Ltd
increased 3.5% to $11.99 after the casinos and hotel operator reporting net profit in the first-quarter ending in September tumbled 17.9% to $525.5 million while main floor gaming revenues jumped 5.5% and total revenues surged 14% to $3.2 million.
Freedom Foods Group Ltd
was halted at $2.81 after the cereal and snacks maker said it plans to raise $65 million by offering of new shares at a price of $2.85 per share.
The net proceeds will be utilised to acquire its smaller rival Popina to build a new processing unit.
Insurance Australia Group Ltd
gained 0.9% to $5.48 after the general insurance company said it is on track to deliver on its fiscal 2016 guidance and insurance margin are in the range of 14% to 16%.
Sydney Airport Holdings Ltd
slipped 0.9% to $6.30 after the airport operator said international visitors soared 5.2% in September and domestic passenger numbers jumped 3.3% and total number of passengers increased 3.9%.
In September, the total number of visitors from China soared 13.5% and travellers from India surged 11.2%.