The S&P / ASX 200 Index (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) has fallen for the second day in a row, losing 7.2 points, or 0.2%, to 4,483.5, following weak leads from US markets overnight. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell close to 1%, while the S&P 500 lost 0.6%, and the Nasdaq slipped by 0.4%.
The Australian dollar is currently buying around 102.7 US cents, rising slightly today after Australian employment figures showed a stronger than expected rise in new jobs, but also a rise in the number of unemployed.
These three stocks were the biggest movers in the top 200.
Lynas Corporation Limited (ASX: LYC) saw its shares sink by 15.1%, to close at 73 cents. The rare earths producer announced that the Malaysian High Court postponed a decision on the company’s temporary operating licence for its rare earths plant until November 8. Investors likely fear that the court could overturn the temporary operating licence, which would leave Lynas in a difficult spot, given the amount of capital the company has already invested in the plant.
Medusa Mining Limited (ASX: MML) added 9% to end at $6.65, despite the gold price being little changed in the last few days, and no news from the company. Medusa is a gold producer, focused on its Co-O mine in the Philippines, with a long-term strategy of producing around 400,000 ounces of gold per year, at low cost. The company currently produces around 60,000 ounces per year at a cash cost of US$261 an ounce.
Iluka Resources Limited (ASX: ILU) fell 6.6% to close at $9.00, after the mineral sands miner reported a 58% fall in production as it cut output due to weaker demand. Prices for zircon, used in ceramic tiles, are down 20% in just the last three weeks. Lower production and sales levels in 2012 was the reason for us suggesting in January that investors steer clear. It’s been a good call, Iluka having fallen around 44% since then.
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Motley Fool writer/analyst Mike King doesn’t own shares in any companies mentioned. The Motley Fool’s purpose is to help the world invest, better. Take Stock is The Motley Fool’s free investing newsletter. Packed with stock ideas and investing advice, it is essential reading for anyone looking to build and grow their wealth in the years ahead. Click here now to request your free subscription, whilst it’s still available. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.
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