5:30 PM Sydney, Australia – Australian markets lost steam in the afternoon and finished slightly lower. Rio Tinto plans to invest $1.9 billion in new bauxite project. Fox Sports, Nine Entertainment, and Telstra won the NRL broadcasting rights.
Australian markets closed slightly lower Friday on concerns about the expansion of mining giant Rio Tinto and continuous weakness of law firm Slate and Gordon.
Resource stocks dominated trading as investors reviewed volatile commodity prices, government consideration for tax concessions, and Rio Tinto mining expansion.
The Australian dollar slid to 72.32 U.S. cents and in stock trading, turnover increased to 835 million shares worth $5.1 billion.
At the close, the ASX 200 Index edged down 8.10 or 0.2% to 5,202.60 and the broader All Ordinaries Index decreased 8.30 to 5,251.40.
For the week, ASX 200 slipped 1%.
In commodities trading, gold dropped US$6 to US$1,068 an ounce and Brent crude future for immediate month delivery slid 10 cents to US$45.36 a barrel.
Australian Stock Movers
Diploma Group Limited
surged 13.3% to 0.017 cents after the commercial property developer secured contract to develop Riverwood Apartments in Perth for about $52 million.
decreased 0.3% to $20.30 after the media and entertainment group said its subsidiary Fox Sports, together with Nine Entertainment and Telstra, secured five-year contract worth $1.8 billion for the broadcasting rights of the National Rugby League.
Rio Tinto Limited
fell 0.6% to $46.23 after the mining company decided to invest $1.9 billion in the Amrun Project to expand its bauxite output.
The Amrun Project which involves the construction of a bauxite mine, processing and port facilities.
In London, CEO Sam Walsh said initial output will be 22.8 million tons per year.
Production and shipping is expected to commence by 2019, while the majority of capital expenditure is scheduled for 2017 and 2018.
Scentre Group Ltd
gained 1% to $4.06 after the shopping centres developer announced the sale of its three shopping centres in New Zealand for $499 million.
The company will use half of the proceeds to repay its loans.
Slater and Gordon Limited
lost 27% to $0.69 after plunging 51.4% yesterday and investors sold stock for the second day on the company’s expansion plan in the face of restrictive damage payment laws, balance sheet leverage, and new regulatory issues.