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Market Update

Decline in Iron Ore and Oil Prices Dragged Australian Stocks Lower


Author: Marcus Jacob
ticker.com
Last Update: 3:38 PM ET November 19 2014

5:30 PM Sydney Australian market indexes accelerated decline in the afternoon and smaller resource companies led the losers. The Aussie dollar traded down however a private survey indicated positive outlook on the economic growth.

Australian stocks opened lower and market indexes accelerated decline in the afternoon trading.

Smaller resource companies led the losers after iron ore prices extended losses in the year after crude oil futures fell.

Australian dollar dropped to 86.62 U.S. cents and in stock-trading turnover jumped to 700 million shares worth $4.18 billion.

ASX 200 Index slipped 30.90 or 0.6% to 5,368.80 and broader All Ordinaries Index fell 30.60 to 5,352.50.

In commodities trading, gold increased US$7 to US$1,194 an ounce and light crude oil dropped $1.03 to US$74.61 a barrel.

Australian Stock Movers

Australian Agricultural Company Ltd dropped 2% to $1.49 after the farming products producer said revenues in the first-half ending in September soared 37.6% to $115.5 million from $83.9 million a year ago period.

Net loss in the period narrowed to $13.6 million compared to $31.6 million and diluted loss per share dropped to 3 cents from 7 cents in the same period a year ago.

James Hardie Industries Plc gained 1.4% to $12.52 after the fiber cement products maker reported net sales in the second-quarter ending in September climbed 12.3% to $440.4 million from $392 million a year ago period.

Net profit in the quarter surged 145.1% to $127.2 million compared to $51.9 million and diluted earnings per share jumped to 29 cents from 12 cents in the same period a year ago.

For the fiscal 2015, James Hardie said EBIT to revenue margins in USA and Europe fiber cement segment expected to remain in the range of 20% to 25%.

The company forecasted net operating profit excluding asbestos for the year ending in March 2015 is between US$199 million and US$223 million.

The company expected full-year adjusted net operating profit in the range of US$205 million to US$235 million.

Orica Ltd declined 4.1% to $18.47 after the commercial explosives and blasting systems provider agreed to sell its chemicals business to U.S.-based private equity firm Blackstone Group LP for $750 million.

Separately, today the company reported revenues in the year ending in September slipped 1.3% to $6.80 billion from $6.89 billion a year ago period.

Net profit in the year jumped 2.6% to $626 million compared to $609.9 million and diluted earnings per share increased to 163.4 cents from 162.7 cents in the same period a year ago.

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