4:30 PM Sydney – Australian stocks closed higher ahead of national election scheduled on Saturday. Governing Labor Party is lagging in opinion polls and nearly 15 million people are eligible to vote. Australia is facing a waning mining boom and rising government deficit.
Australian market indexes closed higher ahead of Federal Election tomorrow as the governing Labor Party faces a stiff challenge from Liberal-National coalition.
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s minority party is trailing in election polls on the rising anxiety about economic growth and struggling manufacturing sector.
Nearly 15 million people are eligible to vote and turnout is expected to be weak as the mining industry boom wanes and jobs outside the financial industry are hard to come by.
Australian dollar closed higher to 91.32 U.S. cents and in stock trading turnover slipped to 743 million shares worth $4.3 billion.
The ASX 200 index rose 2.50 to close at 5,145 and the broader All Ordinaries added 5.60 to 5,144. For the week, ASX 200 gained 0.2%.
The Australian construction industry continued to ease 0.4 points to 43.7 in August, according to a industry survey. The index below 50 shows a shrinkage and the industry growth is falling despite the low interest rate.
Stocks in Review
Rio Tinto slid 10 cents to $61.09 and Woodside Petroleum Limited jumped 27 cents to $39.22.
BHP fell 12 cents to $35.16 and opened the Daunia mine, the ninth metallurgical coal mine in central Queensland of Australia in a joint venture with Mitsubishi Development Pty Ltd., a wholly-owned mining subsidiary of Japan-based Mitsubishi Corporation.
Westpac gained 16 cents to $31.64.
BC Iron Limited
declined 2.4% to $4 after the founding shareholder in the iron ore miner sold a 23.1% stake. Ukrainian controlled Consolidated Minerals sold the shares at a price of $3.90.
Leighton Holdings Limited
rose 0.2% to $18.30 after the engineering construction company secured contract worth $1.8 billion to construct gas compression facilities for the QCLNG project in the Surat Basin.
Miclyn Express Offshore Ltd
surged 9.7% to $2.14 after the investment company received takeover offer of $2.20 a share from major shareholders CHAMP Marlin Holdings and SEA6 Limited for remaining 25% stake in the company.
Sunland Group Limited
climbed 4.1% to $1.78 after the construction and property developer lost an appeal to claim $14 million in damages from two Australian businessmen involved in $63 million waterfront property transaction in Dubai.