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James Hardie, Bluescope Steel, Fortescue Metals lead ASX 100 gainers

This past week the S&P ASX 100 Index (ASX: XTO) held its ground for another week just under 4500, ending at 4483. The US S&P 500 Index (NYSE: SPX) and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (NYSE: DJI) both ended at new all-time highs of 1798 and 15,961 respectively.

Here are the ASX100 biggest gainers and losers for this past week.

Gainers

James Hardie (ASX: JHX) rose 13% on news that it more than doubled its half-year profit from US$84 million in the corresponding half-year in 2012 to US$194 million on the back of a housing recovery in the US and benefitting from restructuring previously put in place.

Bluescope Steel (ASX: BSL), up 12%, is seeing encouraging signs in the international demand for steel. Just last month it opened a new steel plant in midwestern China, and plans to take advantage of the continuing growth in the country, which is still expanding around the 7.5% GDP growth predictions.

Fortescue Metals Group (ASX: FMG), was up 7%, lifted by news that it is planning to pay down its debt by $1 billion, saving about $70 million in interest charges. The company has flagged possible further debt reductions in the near future. All of this is from higher iron ore prices, higher production levels, and extra funds invested into the company by foreign backers.

Computershare (ASX: CPU) saw a rise of 5% for the week as it reaffirmed its previous earnings guidance of FY2014 to be 5% higher in management earnings per share than last year.

Losers

Perpetual (ASX: PPT) was down 3% for the week as it continues its tussle for The Trust Company (ASX: TRU) with Equity Trustees (ASX: EQT), which has increased its offer from 37 to 39 of its shares for every 100 Trust Company shares, valuing the takeover at $267 million.

Seek (ASX: SEK) saw a drop of 2% in share price. In the week before, it announced it sold its 80% stake in Think Education Group for proceeds of $104 million. The company said that the sale will allow it concentrate more on its key online employment and education businesses.

Carsales.com (ASX: CRZ) likewise was down 2%, making the decline from a peak at the beginning of October about 14.2%. Earlier concerns of some car manufacturers telling dealers to pull ads from the website so as to stop undercutting each other in price. Last month the company also reaffirmed the earnings guidance of $142 million for EBITDA in FY 2014, up from $120 million in 2013.

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Motley Fool contributor Darryl Daté-Shappard does not own shares in any company mentioned. 

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