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Sydney, Oct 7, 2009 AEST (ABN Newswire) - Overnight Wall Street extended its gains on Reserve Bank of Australia's unexpected decision to raise the official interest rate. Investors saw the first rate hike in advanced economies since the global financial crisis as a key indication of recovery. The move also pushed commodities higher with gold soaring to a record.

Yesterday the Australian market was boosted by the rise of key cash rate. The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed 18.3 points, or 0.4 per cent higher, at 4591.6 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index gained 17.9 points, or 0.39 per cent, to 4597.2 points.

Key Economic Facts and Figures

The board of the RBA yesterday announced that it will lift the official cash rate by 25 basis points to 3.25 per cent as the risk of serious economic contraction in Australia has passed. The central bank now begins gradually lessening the stimulus and will focus on sustainable growth and inflation consistent with target.

Australian Bureau of Statistics said the country's trade deficit narrowed in August as a decline in imports of oil and consumer goods outpaced a drop in exports. The shortfall narrowed to A$1.52 billion from a revised A$1.78 billion in July.

The Australian Industry Group/Housing Industry Association Australian Performance of Construction Index for September is due on Wednesday. The Australian Bureau of Statistics releases housing finance data for August.

M&A News

Rocklands Richfield (ASX:RCI) has received a proposal from Essar Mineral Resources, a member of the Essar Group of India, offering A$0.50 cash per share to acquire 100 per cent shares in RCI through a scheme of arrangement or friendly takeover. Jindal Steel and Power (BOM:532286) has previously proposed to acquire RCI at A$0.42 a share.

Important Corporate News

WorleyParsons (ASX:WOR) has won a contract to manage a pre-feasibility study for Flinders Mines' (ASX:FMS) Pilbara iron ore project in Western Australia. WorleyParsons is expected to complete the study at the project near the town of Tom Price by the end of June.

The Mongolian Government signed an investment agreement with Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) and Canada's Ivanhoe Mines (TSE:IVN) covering their US4$ billion Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold mine development after more than three years of delays. Oyu Tolgoi is planned to produce 450,000 tonnes of copper, about 3 per cent of global supply, and 330,000 troy ounces of gold, with a mine life of 45 years.

United Minerals Corp (ASX:UMC) has called a trading halt regarding an announcement in connection with a potential change of control involving the company. Trading will resume on Friday, October 9 or on an earlier announcement.

Brambles (ASX:BXB) chief executive Mike Ihlein says the group's review of its US pallet business has confirmed that Brambles and its CHEP pallets subsidiary should continue to focus on wooden pallets. Brambles said Mike Ihlein will step down and Tom Gorman, head of its CHEP pallet operations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, will succeed Mr. Ihlein on Nov. 1.

BHP Billiton's (ASX:BHP) Olympic Dam mine is understood to have been shut down by an accident, which potentially creating significant costs for the operator. The accident at the Olympic Dam mine in South Australia's far north is also expected to have a major economic impact on the state.


Michelle Liang
Asia Business News Asia Bureau
TEL: +61-2-9247-4344

Related Companies

WorleyParsons Limited         
United Minerals Corporation Nl       
Rocklands Richfield PCI Limited       
Rio Tinto Limited          
Jindal Steel & Power Limited       
Ivanhoe Mines Ltd.       
Flinders Mines Limited       
Brambles Limited         
BHP Billiton Limited          

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