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Market Update

Australian Banks Lead Market Advance, Record Close in CBA

Author: Marcus Jacob
Last Update: 10:19 AM ET October 24 2013

4:30 PM Sydney – Advances in banks in Australian trading lifted indexes. Investors have been rotating out of mining sector into banks ahead of earnings next week. Wesfarmers was in focus after Coles supermarket chains said September quarter sales increased 4%.

Australian stocks traded higher and investors focused on the domestic earnings.

Australian dollar lowered at 96.48 U.S. cents. In stock trading, turnover plummeted to 642 million shares worth $3.9 billion.

The ASX 200 index rose 16.80 to close at 5,372.90 and the broader All Ordinaries gained 16.90 to 5,373.70.

Commonwealth Bank jumped to a record high of $75.58 and market capitalization of the bank increased to $121.2 billion, surpassing the BHP Billiton market value.

Stocks in Review

Rio Tinto gained 20 cents to $63.85 after mining company today launched $8 billion loan to refinance the existing $6 billion loan assumed in November 2010.

BHP fell 15 cents to $37.35 after the oil and gas explorer confirmed to sell nearly half of its oil and gas acreage in the Permian Basin of Texas and New Mexico for more lucrative assets in the region.

Woodside Petroleum Limited slid 12 cents to $38.26.

Banks led the gainers and Westpac jumped 31 cents to $34.18, ANZ added 40 cents to $32.37 and National Australia Bank jumped 12 cents to $35.59.

Australian Agricultural Company Ltd slid 0.4% to $1.11 after the farming company agreed to acquire two of the former RM Williams Agricultural Holdings properties, La Belle Downs and Welltree Stations in Northern Territory valued $27.1 million.

Pacific Brands Limited declined 3.4% to 72 cents to apparels retailer said “group''s first-half profit may come in below expectations and for the full year are likely to be down, with earnings outcomes largely dependent on sales performance and gross margins” chief executive officer Pollaers said.

Telstra Corporation Limited fell 0.5% to $5.74 and the telecommunications services provider it is confident that the company will secure $11 billion agreement with the government after revise the terms with NBN Co.

Wesfarmers Limited slipped 0.2% to $41.92 after the retailer reported food and liquor sales in the first-quarter jumped 4.4% to $6.9 billion and sales from home improvement business climbed 10.4% to $2 billion. Total sales for office supply grew 3% to $373 million from a year ago period.

The retailer added total sales from Target brand stores declined 6.1% to $789 million and comparable store sales dropped 5.2%. Kmart’s total sales in the quarter jumped 4.6% to $970 million.

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