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Aussie $ worth 102.65 US

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« on: March 28, 2011, 04:33:54 pm »
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http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/03/28/3175357.htm


Dollar near record, market loses ground

By online business reporter Michael Janda
Updated Mon Mar 28, 2011 3:57pm AEDT


The Australian dollar is lurking just below record territory, but it looks like the local share market is set for a loss, after six days of gains.

One Australian dollar was buying 102.65 US cents at 3:18pm (AEDT) - just off the fresh post-float record of 102.94 US cents set early on Saturday morning.

Many currency traders now expect the Australian dollar to break through 103 US cents, which would be the highest level since it was allowed to trade freely on international markets in 1983.

However, the major share indices have spent almost the entire day lower, but the losses have been modest.

The All Ordinaries index was down just 16 points to 4,825, and the ASX 200 had lost 0.3 per cent to 4,726.

The major miners have been a drag on the market, after metal prices slipped over the weekend.

BHP Billiton was down almost 1 per cent to $44.38.

Rio Tinto was also down 17 cents to $81.85.

It is waiting to see whether 50 per cent of Riversdale Mining's shareholders will accept its $16.50 a share offer.

As of this morning, just under 40 per cent had said yes. Others have until early this evening to decide.

The major banks had a mixed day.

The Commonwealth looks set to join the broader market in ending a six-day winning streak.

It was down about 0.5 per cent to $51.63.

However, the other major banks were all higher.

National Australia Bank and Westpac were leading the way, gaining almost 0.5 per cent.

Sigma Pharmaceuticals shares were up more than 10 per cent to 46 cents, after its loss shrank 40 per cent compared to last year - the loss was still $235 million due to write-offs associated with the sale of assets to Aspen.

However, the company is also giving investors a special 15 cent dividend, which helped boost its share price.

ING Office Fund was also a top performer, up almost 3.5 per cent.
Telstra also surged 1.5 per cent to $2.74, after the National Broadband Network legislation cleared the Senate at the end of last week.

However, Aquarius Platinum slumped 7.4 per cent to $5.39.

 
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