5:30 PM Sydney – Australian markets declined after gold dropped and the Aussie dollar hit a two-month low and Australian building approvals plunged in September 11%. Westpac Banking reported annual cash profit increased 8% and announced final dividend of 92 cents per share.
Australian market indexes closed lower and the Aussie dollar inched lower to a two-week low.
Investors were cautious after local building approvals were weaker than expected and a private report showed China’s manufacturing increased to a 3-month high in October.
Australian dollar slipped to 87.36 U.S. cents and in stock-trading turnover declined to 645 million shares worth $3.78 billion.
ASX 200 Index fell 19.70 or 0.4% to 5,506.90 and broader All Ordinaries Index slid 20 to 5,485.
In commodities trading, gold declined US$26 to US$1,169 an ounce and light crude oil slumped 58 cents to US$80.54 a barrel.
Australian building approvals declined more than expected in September to a thirteen-month low, the Australian Bureau of Statistics reported today.
Approvals plunged 11% to 15,004, sharply lower than the expectations of 1% decline.
Australian Stock Movers
gained 0.7% to $9.60 after the pallet pooling service provider reported total revenue in the first-quarter ending in September soared 7% to US$1.37 billion from a year ago period.
For the year, the company forecasted underlying profit of in the range of US$1.06 billion to US$1.09 billion.
closed unchanged at $1.80 after the real estate developer agreed to acquire a portfolio of five industrial assets from Altis Real Estate Equity Partnership Fund for a total consideration of $224.1 million.
The transaction is expected to close in early 2015.
Crown Resorts Ltd
fell 0.2% to $14.44 after the gaming and entertainment group amended the Melbourne Casino license and agreed to pay $250 million to the Victorian government within seven days.
declined 4.9% to $34.24 after the food and liquor retailer said total sales in the first-quarter ending in September jumped 3% to $16.15 billion from $15.68 billion in a year ago period.
Petrol sales dropped 4.5% but New Zealand supermarket sales increased 1%. Sales from hotel segment fell 1% while sales from home improvement business surged 20.7% and revenues from home timber and hardware segments climbed 12%.
The company added online sales across the group in the quarter soared 30%.
Westpac Banking Corp
slipped 0.7% to $34.55 after the banking and financial service provider reported revenue in the year ending in September climbed 7% to $32.25 billion form $33 billion a year ago period.
Net profit in the year surged 12% to $7.56 billion compared to $6.75 billion and diluted earnings per share jumped to 238.7 cents from 213.5 cents in the same period a year ago.