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Market Update

China Slowdown Worries Drag Australian Stocks and Dollar

Author: Marcus Jacob
Last Update: 8:59 AM ET March 04 2013

6:30 PM Sydney Australian stocks declined sharply after building permits declined for the second month in a row and China said it plans to tighten lending to curb property speculation. Dollar and commodities linked companies dropped.

Stocks in Australia and in Asia declined after Chinese government said the government is looking to tighten lending regulations to curb rising property prices.

The dollar, commodities declined and resource stocks fell sharply on the worries that the tightening would lead to lower demand for commodities from Australia.

Separately, buildings approval declined 2.4% in February after falling 1.7% in December, according to the latest data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The ASX 200 index dropped 75.60 or 1.5% to 5,010.50 and the broader All Ordinaries slumped 72.34 or 1.4% to 5,028.54.

The Australian dollar declined to $1.015.

Stock Movers

Rio Tinto plummeted $2.43 to $63.65 and BHP declined $1.27 to $35.57. Lend Lease dropped 42 cents to $10.16. Fortescue Metals Group decreased 16 cent to $4.37.

Woodside Petroleum slumped 64 cents to $36.51 and Santos slipped 27 cents to $12.98.

Westpac declined 2.2% to $30.36, Commonwealth down 1.1% to $67.12 and National Australia Bank fell 1% to $30.10 and ANZ slid 0.9% to $28.36.

QBE increased 18 cents to $13.85.

Woolworths declined 2.2% to $34.08 and Wesfarmers fell 1.2% to $41.09.

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