5:30 PM Sydney, Australia – The benchmark ASX 200 dropped after the merchandise trade deficit in October widened for 19th month in a row. New home sales in October slumped 3% but new motor vehicle sales in November increased 6.9%.
Stocks in Australia opened lower, following declines in Wall Street and commodity prices after the U.S. Fed Chair Janet Yellen highlighted the case for higher rates in a speech.
The merchandise trade deficit in October widened to $3.31 billion from the deficit of $2.40 billion in previous month, the Australian Bureau of Statistics reported.
Exports declined 3% in the month to $26.594 billion and imports were roughly flat at $29.90 billion.
The new motor vehicle sales in November increased 6.9% to 98,639 units from a year ago month.
For the year so far, new vehicles sales increased to 1.15 million, the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries said.
New home sales in October slumped 3% and sales in multi-units increased 1% while single family home sales declined 4.1%, the Housing Industry Association reported.
The Australian dollar slid to 73.15 U.S. cents and stock trading turnover jumped to 902 million shares worth $5.2 billion.
At the close, the ASX 200 Index slipped 30.60 or 0.6% to 5,227.70, while the broader All Ordinaries Index fell 28 to 5,276.70.
In commodities trading, gold plunged US$16 to US$1,053 an ounce and Brent crude future for immediate month delivery increased 66 cents to US$43.15 a barrel.
OneAll International Limited
gained 0.5% to $1 after the China-based furniture designer priced its stock at $1.
The stock opened at $1.10 and closed at $1.50.
Over The Wire Holdings
surged 34% to $1.34 after the communications and information technology provider priced its stock at $1.
The stock opened at $1.20 and closed at $1.34.
Australian Stock Movers
APN Outdoor Group Ltd
jumped 2% to $5.54 after the outdoor advertising company agreed to acquire Adspace Outdoor Pty Ltd without disclosing financial terms.
Armour Energy Limited
closed unchanged at 13 cents after the gas producer said American Energy Partners received Foreign Investment Review Board approval to acquire a 75% stake in the company’s McArthur Basin oil and gas project in the Northern Territory.
dropped 2.8% to $8.25 after the agricultural chemicals maker said group revenues in the fiscal year ending in July increased 4% from a year ago to $2.74 billion.
Net profit in the year jumped 14.6% to $43.2 million compared to $37.7 million in the same period a year ago.
gained 1.7% to $4.13 after the oil and gas producer completed the retail tranche offering of its 1-for-1.7 renounceable entitlement offer of new shares.