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Market Update

Australian Central Bank Governor Focused on Rate Stability


Author: Marcus Jacob
ticker.com
Last Update: 8:39 AM ET August 20 2014

5:00 PM Sydney, Australia Australian markets extended two-week gains and prices of iron ore remained firm for Shanghai delivery. Woodside Petroleum first-half net increased 27%. Wesfarmers Ltd annual net increased 19%.

Australian stocks advanced and extended two-week gains and resource prices held firm in international markets.

Australian dollar closed at 92.93 U.S. cents and on the stock market turnover slumped to 746 million shares worth $5.5 billion.

ASX 200 index gained 10.80 or 0.2% to 5,634.60 and the broader All Ordinaries rose 10.80 to 5,629.20.

Stocks in Review

APA Group increased 0.9% to $7.80 after the natural gas infrastructure provider said revenue in the first-half ending in June climbed 10.2% to $1.40 billion from $1.27 billion a year ago period.

Net profit in the period soared 16.5% to $343.7 million compared to $292.4 million and diluted earnings per share rose to 41.1 cents from 38.2 cents a year earlier.

The group will pay final dividend of 18.75 cents comes for the year to 36.25 cents.

Coca-Cola Amatil Ltd dropped 2% to $9.54 after the fruit juices, coffee and alcohol-free beverages maker reported revenue in the first-half ending in June nearly flat at $2.36 billion from $2.35 billion a year ago period.

Net profit in the period declined 16% to $182.3 compared to $215.9 million a year and diluted earnings per share slipped to 23.9 cents from 28.3 cents a year earlier.

The beverages maker concentrated on cost savings of more than $100 million in the next three years to increase earnings.

The company cut its interim dividend to 20 cents a share from 24 cents a year ago.

Woodside Petroleum Limited gained 0.8% to $43.38 after the oil and gas producer said revenue in the first-half ending in June soared 24% to $3.55 billion from $2.86 billion a year ago period.

Profit in the period climbed 27% to $1.10 billion compared to $873 million and diluted earnings per share jumped to $1.34 from $1.06 a year earlier.

Wesfarmers Ltd climbed 3.8% to $45.66 after the department store operator reported revenue in the year ending in June jumped 4.2% to $60.18 billion from $57.75 billion a year ago period.

Profit in the year surged 19% to $2.69 billion compared to $2.26 billion and diluted earnings per share increased to $2.34 from $1.96 a year earlier.

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