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Market Update

Economy Expands at 0.6% in Australia, Stocks Slip

Author: Marcus Jacob
Last Update: 9:23 AM ET September 04 2013

4:30 PM Sydney – Australia’s economy in June quarter increased at 0.6% and advanced 2.6% from a year ago quarter as consumer spending drove the advance. BHP Billiton opened its coking coal mine in Queensland ahead of schedule. Rio Tinto is seeking additional cost cuts at its Pilbara mines.

Australian stock indexes slipped despite the latest economic growth report in-line with expectations. U.S. led military strike against Syria weighed on the market sentiment.

Australian dollar rose to 91.08 U.S. cents and in stock trading turnover dropped to 749 million shares worth $4.2 billion. The dollar gained after the release of GDP growth data.

The ASX 200 index slipped 35 or 0.7% to close at 5,161.60 and the broader All Ordinaries fell 32.40 to 5,156.50.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics reported national economy expanded in line with expectations and GDP grew 0.6% in the quarter ended in June and 2.6% on annual basis.

Stocks in Review

Rio Tinto rose 50 cents to $61.55 and BHP slid 11 cents to $35.71. Woodside Petroleum Limited added 7 cents to $38.89.

Rio Chief Executive Office Sam Walsh has demanded more operating and capital spending cuts at its largest iron ore unit in Pilbara region.

BHP Billiton Limited said it has commenced operation at its Daunia coking coal mine in Queensland today, ahead of schedule and $250 million under budget.

Westpac dropped 32 cents to $31.62.

Dart Energy Limited surged 15% to 11.5 cents after the shale gas explorer raised $20.7 million to begin work at its shale gas assets in UK.

Hills Holdings Limited climbed 6.2% to $1.73 and the company said it will acquire two Australian interactive patient care businesses for $33.5 million.

Monadelphous Group Limited jumped 3.6% to $19.91 after the diversified service provider won a substantial contract with Rio Tinto valued $235 million for construction work at Cape Lambert project in Western Australia.

News Corporation slipped 1.8% to $17.50 after the diversified media agreed to sell 33 U.S. smaller publications including eight dailies to Fortress Investment Group LLC for an undisclosed amount.

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