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Market Update

Australian Building Approvals Surged 9.9%, Retail Sales Dropped 0.5%

Author: Marcus Jacob
Last Update: 10:00 AM ET July 03 2014

5:00 PM Sydney – Miners and banks led the gainers in Australia for the second day in a row and trading volume was heavy. Building approvals in June rose but seasonally adjusted retail sales dropped 0.5%. Lynas Corp plans to move its headquarters to Malaysia.

Australian stocks retained momentum for the second day in a row and familiar banks and resource stocks led the gainers but the Aussie dollar weakened.

Seasonally adjusted retail sales in May dropped 0.5% to $22.99 billion following the downwardly revised 0.1% fall in April, the Australian Bureau of Statistics reported today.

Building approvals in June climbed 9.9% from the previous month while the services sector continued to contract and dropped for the fourth month in a row, two separate reports showed.

Australian dollar declined to 93.75 U.S. cents and stock trading turnover edged up to 739 million shares worth $4.09 billion.

ASX 200 index gained 35.80 or 0.7% to 5,491.20 and the broader All Ordinaries increased 37.80 to 5,479.50.

Smartgroup, the provider of professional services priced its initial public offering at $1.60 a share and closed at $1.44.

Stocks in Review

Lynas Corporation Limited slumped 3.8% to 12.5 cents after the rare earth producer plans to cut jobs and shifted its headquarters to Malaysia to “streamline its operations” and reduce costs.

Sunland Group Limited climbed 4.1% to $1.64 after the property developer lifted its profit forecast for the year in the range of $13 million to $14 million.

Silver Lake Resources Limited declined 4.5% to 53 cents after the gold producer reported sales for the year from Mount Monger mine jumped to 172,838 ounces, above the guidance between 160,000 ounces and 170,000 ounces.

The company added full-year sales, including sales from the Murchison gold mine, reached to more than 217,000 ounces.

Wesfarmers Ltd gained 0.5% to $42.86 after the department stores operator said non-trading items are expected to produce a pre-tax net gain in the year of about $261 million to $301 million.

The retailer said in the year it will write-down $774 million of assets that includes $680 million of goodwill at its Target department store chain and $94 million related to the restructuring of its liquor stores.

The retailer estimated operating profit for the fiscal 2015 in Target division in the range of $82 million to $88 million compared to $244 million in the fiscal 2012.

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