5:00 PM Sydney – Australian stocks surged on a rally in banks after the third largest bank ANZ reported better than expected earnings and lifted its dividend. Woodside Petroleum and Shell are working to revive its Floating LNG plan to advance their $50 billion natural gas field project.
Australian stocks traded higher after ANZ reported better than expected earnings and banking sector rallied.
The benchmark ASX 200 index gained 1.3% and trading volume perked up from the low of the year in yesterday’s session.
Credit available to private sector expanded in March and matched the growth rates in February and January, Reserve Bank of Australia said today.
Credit rose 0.2% in March from the previous month and from a year ago month increased 3.2%.
Australian dollar edged higher to close at $1.036 against the U.S. dollar and in stock trading turnover surged to 792 million worth $5.2 billion.
ANZ Surges to Record High on Earnings
ANZ shot up 4.5% after it reported better than expected first-half earnings and lifted its dividend.
The third largest lender by market value reported cash earnings increased $3.18 billion and lifted its interim dividend 11% to 73 cents a share and the bank said it is planning to share higher share of income with shareholders.
The net profit at the bank increased 1% from a year ago to $2.94 billion and 20% of its revenues are now from operations outside Australia and New Zealand, inching closer to meeting its target of between 25% and 30% over four years.
Stocks in Review
IPB Petroleum Limited listed its stock in a public offering that priced its share at 50 cents each. The stock opened at 43 cents and closed at 35 cents.
Watpac Limited closed unchanged at 74 cents after the company’s construction division finalized its $42 million plan to expand Darwin International Airport.
Whitehaven Coal Limited retained its full-year coal production outlook after the production picked up at the Narrabri Longwall in New South Wales.
Rio Tinto jumped 44 cents to $55.80 and BHP rose 16 cents to $32.70. Fortescue Metals Group closed unchanged at $3.50.
Woodside Petroleum Limited entered into a contract with Royal Dutch Shell that would permit the joint venture between the two companies to proceed but the fate of the floating LNG project is still undefined.
Woodside Petroleum dropped 99 cents to $37.56 after the board approved 63 cents a share dividend payable on May 29.
Santos gained 11 cents to $12.35 and Kingsgate plummeted 11 cent or 4.9% $2.16 and Whitehaven Coal slid 1 cent to $1.95.
David Jones Limited fell 3 cents to $2.98 and Breville Group added 3 cents to $6.98. Billabong lowered 0.5 cents to 47.5 cents.
Woolworths slipped 10 cents to $36.41. Kathmandu closed unchanged at $1.88.
Harvey Norman rose 3 cents to $3 after the furniture retailer said third quarter sales increased 0.6% to $1.28 billion.