Australian Stock Market Report – Afternoon 1/29/14

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By Steven Daghlian, CommSec Market Analyst | January 29, 2014 6:51 PM EST

EVENING REPORT
(5pm AEDT)

The local sharemarket staged a comeback after four straight days of losses. The All Ordinaries Index (XAO) rose by around 1 per cent, following Tuesday's 1.26 per cent slump. Concerns relating to emerging market stability have been keeping investors on edge in recent days; however signs that Turkey was taking the issue seriously, settled some nerves. Turkey's central bank increased lending rates from 7.75 per cent to 12 per cent following an emergency meeting. This was aimed at halting a slide in the Turkish Lira.

Reuters
An office worker is reflected in the window of the Australian Securities Exchange building displaying the ASX50 curve for Wednesday in central Sydney August 7, 2013.

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The mining complex outperformed; surging by 1.55 per cent by close. Australia's second largest mining firm, Rio Tinto (RIO) was a winner, jumping by 2.32 per cent. BHP Billiton (BHP) surged by 1.54 per cent while iron ore giant, Fortescue Metals (FMG) gained 2.91 per cent.

Atlas Iron (AGO) and Drillsearch (DLS) both outperformed the broader market today thanks to solid updates. AGO, an independent iron ore company, mining out of Western Australia rose by 9.95 per cent thanks to record ore shipments. The miner has increased its guidance for the full year.

Oil and gas explorer, Drillsearch (DLS) improved by 6.29 per cent after increasing its production expectations for 2014 by around 1 million barrels. This is a 30 per cent rise compared to its previous forecasts. This takes the gains for the explorer this calendar year to 16 per cent and has made up for 2013's 11 per cent slump. Resource companies, Rio Tinto (RIO) and Woodside Petroleum (WPL) both delivered record production numbers last week. Tomorrow, Fortescue Metals (FMG) will issue its quarterly production report. FMG has slipped by 9 per cent this month, rose by 25 per cent over 2013 and surged by 91 per cent between July and December last year. RIO surged by 30 per cent, while BHP jumped by 21 per cent over the same period. A test for the miners this profit reporting season will be if the gains on the market will be backed up by profit.

At close, 1.82bn shares were traded, worth $4.7bn. 552 stocks finished higher, 386 in the red and 336 ended unchanged.

Looking ahead, the U.S. central bank will be meeting tonight; with talk of stimulus tapering the highlight. Data on manufacturing in China will be in focus tomorrow afternoon.

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(Photo: Reuters / )
An office worker is reflected in the window of the Australian Securities Exchange building displaying the ASX50 curve for Wednesday in central Sydney August 7, 2013.
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