Rio shares rise after Walsh appointment: Midday roundup

Shares in Rio Tinto have risen 2% after the company announced its chief executive Tom Albanese would be replaced with iron ore head Sam Walsh.

Albanese has stepped down due to impairment charges on its aluminium and coal businesses. The company said the move came about through “mutual agreement”.

The company’s shares were sitting at $65.93 after the market opened, and continued rising through the morning. They sat at $66.45 at 11.55 AEST.

The business’s aluminium division has been in trouble for several years, following the acquisition of Alcan in 2007.

“We are also deeply disappointed to have to take a further substantial writedown to our aluminum business, albeit in an industry that continues to experience adverse changes – globally,” Rio chairman Jan du Plessis said.

“The strategy of the company is set by the board and influenced by the recommendations of the executive committee, and that will not change.”

Global recovery still developing

International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde has said more effort is needed to get the global economy growing well again.

“We stopped the collapse, we should avoid the relapse, and it’s not time to relax,” Lagarde said at a news conference in the United States.

“There’s still a lot of work to be done.”

Lagarde pointed to the Eurozone as a key area for development, saying some provisions introduced to address the banking crisis there “have not proven operational”.

“Progress needs to be made on the banking union.”

Shares higher after modest Wall Street lead

The Australian sharemarket has opened higher today following a modest increase from the United States, where investors are waiting for some data announcements from China.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 17 points or 0.4% to 4,774.4 at 11.55 AEST, while in the United States the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 84.8 points or 0.6% to 13,596.

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