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Market Update

Australian Dollar Falls on Emerging Markets Woes and Syria Strike Worries

Author: Marcus Jacob
Last Update: 9:22 AM ET August 29 2013

4:30 PM Sydney Australian market indexes closed lower and the dollar weakened as U.S. and allies prepare for a military strike against Syrian regime. New home sales declined but business spending edged up in Australia. Kingsgate tumbled on a loss. David Jones reported weak sales.

Australian market indexes closed higher in a choppy trading as resource stocks led the decliners.

New home sales declined for the first time in five months and business spending edged up in June but remained lower than a year ago month.

The Australian dollar weakened as the yen and the U.S. dollar advanced. U.S. and so called allies prepare for a military strike against Syrian regime in response to an alleged chemical attack on rebels.

U.S. and allies build momentum to conduct a limited military strike against the Assad regime in Syria that is likely to repeat the chaos that followed after the Iraq war a decade ago.

Nearly one decade later, more than one million innocent people and children are killed in Iraq and the economy of impoverished nation is in tatters and most of the oil resources are in control of Western powers.

Australian dollar weakened to 89.73 U.S. cents and in stock trading turnover added to 826 million shares worth $4.6 billion.

The ASX 200 index rose 5.20 to close at 5,092.40 and the broader All Ordinaries closed up at 5.10 to 5,083.10.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics reported business investment in the second quarter ending in June climbed 4% but businesses investments dropped 11.2% to $159.23 billion from year ago.

Housing Industry Association said new home sales in July declined 4.7%, the first decline in last five months.

Stocks in Review

Rio Tinto increased 9 cents to $58.25 and BHP climbed 55 cents to $35.35. Woodside Petroleum Limited gained 25 cents to $38.21.

Westpac rose 11 cents to $31.22.

David Jones Limited gained 0.7% to $2.84 after the department stores operator reported sales in the year ending in June slid 1.2% to $1.85 billion from $1.87 billion of the last year.

Sales for the fourth quarter fell 1.3% to $449.8 million compared to $455.8 million and comparable sales in the quarter slipped 2.9% to $442.8 million from $455.8 million a year ago.

Comparable annual revenue slipped to $1.83 billion from $1.87 billion a year earlier.

Kingsgate Consolidated Limited tumbled 22.6% to $2.12 after the gold producer reported revenue in the year ending in June dropped 8% to $329.3 million from $357.4 million a year earlier.

Net in the year swung to a loss $323.7 million compared to net profit of $75 million and diluted loss per share was 213.3 cents compared to 52.5 cents a year ago.

The gold miner said lower realized gold price and production contributed to asset write-down of $336 million.

Perpetual Limited declined 3.2% to $37.35 after the investment company said revenue in the year ending in June rose 1% to $361.6 million.

Net profit for the year surged $60.97 million compared to $26.68 million a year ago period and diluted earnings per share soared 141.7 cents from 58.6 cents 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