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Market Update

Australian Dollar Trade with Upward Bias, Stocks Close Down

Author: Marcus Jacob
Last Update: 12:36 PM ET October 29 2014

5:30 PM Sydney Australian market indexes closed down and the Aussie dollar gained against the U.S. dollar. Commodities prices traded mixed and oil and gold edged up. JB Hi-Fi Limited soared after the company retained its sales guidance despite recent monthly sales weakness.

Australian stocks traded lower in a quiet session and market indexes trended lower right from the opening.

Australian dollar strengthened to 88.68 U.S. cents and in stock-trading turnover slipped to 721 million shares worth $4.58 billion.

ASX 200 Index fell 4.90 to 5,447.70 and broader All Ordinaries Index slid 2.90 to 5,431.10.

In commodities trading, gold gained US$2 to US$1,230 an ounce and light crude oil increased 42 cents to US$81.42 a barrel.

Australian Stock Movers

Ardent Leisure Group gained 0.9% to $3.44 after the leisure and entertainment provider said group revenue in the first-quarter ending in September soared 10.2% to $139.10 million and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation climbed 5.2% to $34.2 million compared to same quarter a year ago.

Alinta Energy, the Australian gas and electricity retailer confirmed its private equity owners U.S.-based TPG Capital finding potential options to sell the company for about $4 billion.

The sale process is estimated to commence in beginning of 2015.

GPT Group closed unchanged at $4.03 after the office and industrial property developer lifted earnings growth for the year to ""at least"" 4% in earnings per share and the company is on track to meet its return target of 9% in the current year.

Healthscope Ltd increased 1.6% to $2.50 after the private hospitals operator secured $1 billion contract to build a hospital on northern beach of Sydney.

JB Hi-Fi Limited surged 9% to $16.10 after the consumer products retailer said total sales in the year-to-date increased 0.5% while comparable sales dropped 2.1%.

The retailer said July and August sales were affected by weak consumer sentiment but comparable sales returned to positive growth in September and October.

The company maintained total sales guidance for the fiscal 2015 of about $3.6 billion.

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