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Market Update

Australian Dollar Drops to One-Year Low, Indexes Struggle

Author: Marcus Jacob
Last Update: 9:53 AM ET May 13 2013

5:00 PM Sydney Australian indexes traded sideways and the dollar closed below parity with the U.S. currency and to the lowest last seen in June. Resource stocks led the decliners. Westside Retail Trust said lease rates at new leases in Australia are lower than a year ago.

Australian stocks were under pressure in volatile trading in afternoon and resource stocks softened in late trading.

The ASX 200 index inched up 4.20 to 5,210.30 and the broader All Ordinaries edged up 3.70 % to 5,194.80.

Australian dollar closed down to $0.9984 against the U.S. dollar and in stock trading turnover declined to 700 million worth $5 billion.

The Australian dollar extended the loss to 10% in the last six months after the latest unexpected rate cut and central bank repeated its concern that mining industry investment may have peaked.

Stocks in Review

Rio Tinto slipped 86 cents to $57.59 and BHP fell 20 cents to $34.55.

Woodside Petroleum Limited rose 11 cents to $37.35.

David Jones Limited closed unchanged at $2.88 and Breville Group decreased 19 cents to $7.01. Woolworths jumped 43 cents to $35.13.

Mirvac Group added 2 cents to $1.77. Lend Lease up 2 cents to $11.13.

Westpac slid 19 cents to $31.80, Commonwealth rose 0.8% to $71.14 and National Australia Bank climbed 2.2% to $33.18 and ANZ lowered 0.1% to $30.09.

DuluxGroup Limited gained 2.5% to $4.59 after the paint maker reported first-half net profit plunged 31.3% to $32.92 million on the acquisition cost of Alesco.

Incitec Pivot Limited jumped 3.5% to $2.93 after the chemical manufacturer said first-half net profit of its fertiliser division declined 23% to $110.2 million.

Westfield Retail Trust rose 2 cents to $3.41 after the operator of mall said comparable specialty retailer sales in the first quarter rose 0.3% in Australia and slipped 2.6% in New Zealand.

For the year, comparable retail sales for the fiscal year ending in March rose 0.7% in Australia and slid 1% in New Zealand.

Average specialty store rent increased by 2.4% in last 12 months and average specialty retail sales were $9,834 per square metre in Australia and NZ$8,473 in New Zealand.

Tatts Group Limited, the operator of casinos said net profit will increase $16.2 million after it settled Federal Court Action against the Australian Taxation Office.

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