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Market Update

Third Weekly Rise in Australian Indexes; Rio, BHP Retrench from Ventures

Author: Marcus Jacob
Last Update: 9:35 AM ET October 25 2013

4:30 PM Sydney Australian indexes advanced for the third week in a row and resource and banking stocks led the advance. BHP and Rio Tinto are in talks to sell stakes in international joint ventures as both miners retrench from international expansion.

Australian market indexes closed higher for the third week in a row on the back of a rise in energy and banking stocks.

Australian dollar dropped to 96.16 U.S. cents. In stock trading, turnover climbed to 834 million shares worth $5.5 billion.

The ASX 200 index gained 13.40 to close at 5,386.30 and the broader All Ordinaries rose 12 to 5,385.70. For the week, ASX 200 increased 1.2%.

Commonwealth Bank jumped to a record high of $75.58 and market capitalization of the bank increased to $121.2 billion, surpassing the BHP Billiton market value.

Stocks in Review

Rio Tinto slid 8 cents to $63.77 after mining company agreed to sell its majority stake in the Clermont coal mine in Australia to Glencore Xstrata. The miner has reduced its capital expenditure by billions of dollars this year.

BHP rose 6 cents to $37.41 after the oil and gas explorer expects global commodities demand to grow 75% over the next 15 years. The company is in talks in the iron ore-rich Mount Nimba deposit in Guinean to Brazilian mining venture to sell its 41% stake B&A Mineracao.

Woodside Petroleum Limited slid 12 cents to $38.26.

Westpac gained 18 cents to $34.36.

AMP Limited dropped 2.8% to $4.80 after the insurer and investment group said asset under management at the end of September increased 5% to $96.7 billion but expects operating earnings in the fourth-quarter to fall to $65 million.

Insurance Australia Group Limited declined 1.5% after the company confirmed receiving 600 claims linked the recent bush fires and said it has settled half of the claims. However, the company did not provide the cost of the disaster estimate.

ResMed Inc plunged 8.3% to $5.41 despite the medical equipment maker said revenue in the first-quarter jumped 5% to $357.7 million from $339.7 million a year earlier.

Net income in the quarter climbed 14% to $80.9 million compared to $71.3 million and diluted earnings per share for the quarter jumped 56 cents from 49 cents a year ago period.

Whitehaven Coal Limited gained 2% to $1.77 after the coal producer said coal production in the quarter ending in September soared 44% to around 2.5 million tons.

Warrnambool Cheese & Butter Factory Co climbed 3.3% to $8.42 after the dairy products maker received a fourth takeover bid. In a statement to the stock-market the company said Canada based Saputo increased its offer by a $1 to $8 a share, valuing the company at $448.8 million.

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