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Market Update

Australia Keeps Historic Low Rates, RBA Notes Housing Expansion

Author: Marcus Jacob
Last Update: 9:23 AM ET July 01 2014

5:00 PM Sydney – Reserve Bank of Australia held rates at historic low of 2.5% for the eleventh month in a row and confirmed the strong housing industry expansion and low wage inflation. Capital cities home price index increased 1.4% in June.

Australian stocks closed lower and the Reserve Bank of Australia held its reference rate at historic low of 2.5%.

The RBA left rates unrevised for the eleventh month in a row and set expectations for low rate environment at least for the rest of the year. Also, international rate environment in the U.S. and euro zone is expected to support current low rate regime.

The accompanying statement also noted the steady and continued expansion in the housing sector and wage and consumer goods price inflation remain at low levels.

A separate report released by a RP Data-Rismark showed its index of home prices across capital cities rose 1.4% in June after falling 1.9% in May.

ASX 200 index closed down 19.80 to 5,375.90 and 716 million shares changed hands worth $4.72 billion.

In Sydney trading, gold closed at US$1,327 an ounce and light crude decreased 37 cents to US$105.37.

Australian dollar rebounded to close at 94.58 U.S. cents.

Stocks in Review

Carsales.com closed up 3% to $10.91 and the online auto marketplace operator announced its purchase of 50.1% stake for $60.1 million shares in Australia’s largest auto finance broker Stratton Finance.

Coventry Group Limited soared 12.5% to $3.15 announced a special dividend of 11 cents a share and return $21 million in cash to shareholders. The company decided to return cash to shareholders after calls from activist investor demanding return after it sold its retail automotive parts business and also extinguished $83 million in debt.

Computershare Limited increased 5 cents to $12.53 and the investor services provider said it will write-down of about $42 million of non-strategic assets.

Woodside Petroleum Limited increased 21 cents to $41.28 and the natural gas explorer has signed a 20-year gas sale deal with Corpus Christi Liquefaction, LLC.

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