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Market Update

Australian Building Approvals Plunge 8%, Freelancer Soares 10%

Author: Marcus Jacob
Last Update: 12:18 PM ET July 30 2015

5:30 PM Sydney, Australia Australian market indexes gained and the Aussie dollar drifted lower after the U.S. Fed left rates at zero. Australian building approvals declined more than expected 8.2% in June. Australian online marketplace Freelancer posted record revenues and user growth.

Australian market indexes traded higher following the market surge in New York and the Aussie dollar kept its downward bias.

Seasonally adjusted building approvals in June declined 8.2% to 17,868 from downwardly revised 2.3% increase in May, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said today.

For the year, building approvals climbed 8.6% compared to 17.6% increase in the previous month.

The seasonally adjusted estimated value of total building approved in June dropped 5.3% after rising 2% in May.

Separately, the department added, export prices in second-quarter declined 4.4% followed by 0.8% decrease in the previous quarter and the import prices in the quarter gained 1.4% compared to 0.2% fall in first-quarter.

Australian dollar closed at 73.07 U.S. cents and in stock trading turnover fell to 640 million shares worth $4.4 billion.

At close, the ASX 200 Index gained 45.30 or 0.8% to 5,669.50 and the broader All Ordinaries Index increased 43.50 to 5,653.10.

In commodities trading, gold dropped US$10 to US$1,089 an ounce and Brent crude edged up 0.10 cents to close at US$53.48 a barrel.


Kina Securities Limited closed unchanged at $1.30 after the diversified financial services provider priced its stock at $1.

The stock opened and closed at $1.30.

Australian Stock Movers

Estia Health Ltd jumped 3.8% to $6.03 after the residential nursing facilities provider agreed to acquire four new facilities in Victoria for about $181.1 million.

Estia said return on capital employed expected to be 27.5% with an average net price of about $160,000 per bed for the freehold assets.

Freelancer Ltd surged 12.9% to $1.49 after the online outsourcing services provider said revenues in the year ending in June climbed 40.8% to $16.8 million from $11.9 million in a year ago period.

Net loss in the year widened to $1.3 million compared to $0.73 million and diluted loss per share increased to 28 cents from 17 cents in a year ago period.

GUD Holdings Limited soared 10.9% to $9.38 after the consumer and industrial products maker reported revenues in the year ending in June jumped 3% to $611.5 million form $591.6 million in a year ago period.

Net profit in the year surged 87.6% to $33.2 million compared to $17.7 million and diluted earnings per share jumped to 45.3 cents from 24.6 cents in a year ago period.

Watpac Limited fell 0.6% to 86.5 cents after the infrastructure and construction developer signed a contract with JGL Properties worth about $95 million to work on a residential project in Brisbane.

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