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Australian Market Wrap
Australian Equities climbed, supported by strong offshore leads as the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose to its highest level since 2007 on improving US retail outlook and a bullish outlook from the Fed. Asian markets were also boosted as the Japan’s NIKKEI 225 recrossed 10,000 and South Korea’s KOSPI hit a 7-month intraday high. The Aussie Dollar weakened as the Greenback extended gains. Volumes came in at just under A$4.5 billion.
Materials gained as Metals & Miners – Iluka (A$17.06, +3.1%), Rio Tinto (A$65.30, +1.5%) – rose while Newcrest (A$31.30, -1.8%) fell as gold underperformed. Fortescue Metals (A$5.83, +1.0%) launched a high-yield bond offering for US$1 billion of Senior Unsecured Notes for a 155Mtpa expansion to triple its iron ore output. BHP (A$35.61, +1.3%) joint venture partner Tap Oil (A$0.82, +1.2%) said it suspended operations at its Tallaganda-1, while Woodside (A$35.59, -0.9%) halted production at four oil fields off the northwest coast of Western Australia; both because of Tropical Cyclone Lua.
Carsales.Com (A$5.28, +2.1%) acquired a 15 per cent stake in New Zealand-based online retailer Torpedo7 for A$7.2 million. Meanwhile, Pharmaxis (A$1.18, +8.8%) climbed after a panel recommended that the Australian government subsidize the cost of its Bronchitol cystic fibrosis treatment. Finally, Sigma Pharmaceuticals (A$0.565, +1.8%)
said it has been notified that the National Union of Workers intends to take further industrial action at its distribution centre in Victoria.
Financials rose as Major Banks – ANZ (A$22.30, +0.9%), Commonwealth Bank (A$48.80, +0.9%), NAB (A$23.86, +0.8%), Westpac (A$20.90, +0.8%) – closed higher. Stockland (A$3.16, +2.9%) gained after it doubled its on-market buyback to up to 10 per cent of issued capital. The buyback is being funded through an ongoing asset divestment program, including today’s sale of a 55 per cent stake in the Moorebank Industrial Property Trust for A$123 million to Qube Logistics (A$1.71, -0.3%). Meanwhile, the AFL and NRL have asked a federal appeals court to overturn a ruling that allows SingTel (A$2.34, -0.4%) owned Optus to broadcast sporting events over its “TV Now” service.