US housing market gives James Hardie a jolt

After being queried by the Australian Securities Exchange, James Hardie said the recent upward movement of its share price on the local market was a result of an increase in the share price of a number of US homebuilders, which represent one of its major markets.The company said approximately 80% of its net sales were sourced in the US, and that stocks in seven of the leading US homebuilders went up by an average of 6.83%. The rise in homebuilder stocks came after the release of data from the US Mortgage Bankers Association, which showed applications to refinance existing loans more than doubled last week compared to the week before, and that mortgage applications to buy a home rose by 38%.James Hardie also said its settlement negotiations with the Australian Tax Office regarding its 2002 and 2004-06 tax audits were ongoing.

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