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Market Update

Aussie Dollar Edges Lower After CBA Lifts Variable Mortgage Rate

Author: Marcus Jacob
Last Update: 6:26 PM ET October 22 2015

5:30 PM Sydney, Australia Australian market indexes gained but the Aussie dollar edged lower after the largest bank in the nation, CBA, lifted variable home mortgage rate by 15 basis points. Santos Ltd rejected a highly conditional purchase offer. Wesfarmers said first-quarter food and liquor sales rose 4.7%.

Australian market indexes gained and resource stocks advanced for the second day in a row.

The Aussie dollar declined nearly a half a cent after CBA announced its plan to increase variable home mortgage loan rate by 15 basis points.

Australian dollar closed at 72.05 U.S. cents and in stock trading turnover added to 703 billion shares worth $4.1 billion.

At close, the ASX 200 Index increased 15.50 or 0.3% to 5,263.80 and the broader All Ordinaries Index rose 13.10 to 5,299.60.

In commodities trading, gold declined US$11 to US$1,167 an ounce and Brent crude future for immediate month delivery gained 76 cents to US$48.61 a barrel.

Australian Stock Movers

Australian Pharmaceutical Industries Limited slipped 1.4% to $1.74 after the beauty and health retailer reported revenues in the year ending in August increased 3.3% from a year ago to $3.46 billion.

Net in the year swung to profit $43.13 million compared to a loss of $90.77 million and diluted earnings per share swung to 8.7 cents from diluted loss per share of 18.6 cents in the same period a year ago.

Santos Ltd surged 16.2% to $6.32 after the oil and gas explorer rejected the $6.88 per share or $7.1 billion highly conditional and non-binding proposal from the U.S.-based merchant bank and investment syndicate Scepter Partners.

Wesfarmers Ltd rose 0.5% to $40.92 after the diversified retailer reported food and liquor sales in the first-quarter jumped 4.7% to $7.63 billion from a year ago period.

Coles division total sales increased 2.1% to $9.43 billion and sales in home improvement and office supplies segment soared 10.8% to $2.91 billion. Sales in Kmart business surged 12.5% to $1.12 billion and Target sales rose 3.1% to $776 million from a year ago period.

Woolworths Ltd fell 0.6% to $26.79 after the Bloomberg said food, liquor and petroleum products retailer was approached by the U.S.-based KKR & Co. and TPG Capital to acquire its Big W discount store chain.

Sources: Data collected by 123jump.com and Ticker.com from company press releases, filings and corporate websites. Market data: BATS Exchange. Inc