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Australian Gold Stocks Decline - the biggest drop in a year

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12/14/2005 09:57 PM
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Australian Gold Stocks Decline - the biggest drop in a year
Dec. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Australian gold stocks including Newcrest Mining Ltd. declined after the precious metal fell for a third day in Asia on speculation demand from Japan will slow.

Macquarie Infrastructure Group rose after the company won a bid for toll roads linking Paris with southeast France.

The S&P/ASX 200 added 5.5, or 0.1 percent, to 4623.40 as of 12:54 p.m. in Sydney. There were 114 stocks that rose, 70 fell and 16 were unchanged. The All Ordinaries Index added 3.7 points to 4571.

New Zealand's NZSX 50 rose 0.6 percent to 3228.32 as of 2:53 p.m. in Wellington, paced by Telecom New Zealand.

Gold for immediate delivery fell as much as $3.60 to $502.90. Gold futures in New York plunged 2.8 percent yesterday, the biggest drop in a year, on concern Japanese demand will fall after the Tokyo Commodity Exchange increased the cost of trading the metal. The Tokyo exchange is the world's second-largest metals futures market.

``We've seen a strong run up in the gold price over the last two, three weeks, and now it's pulled back almost as sharply in two or three sessions,'' said David Halliday, associate director at Macquarie Equities Ltd. in Sydney.

``At the same time, the Aussie dollar has rallied against the U.S. dollar, so Aussie dollar gold has in fact come down more than what the U.S. spot price would indicate,'' he said.

The Australian dollar has gained 3.1 percent in the past month, to trade at 75.58 U.S. cents.