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Market Update

Australian Earnings Lift Market Sentiment, Jobless Rate Steady

Author: Marcus Jacob
Last Update: 8:04 AM ET February 07 2013

6:30 PM Sydney Australian stocks extended gains for the second day on the positive earnings from National Australian Bank, Tabcorp and Telstra. Australian employment increased 10,400 in January and jobless rate held steady at 5.4%.

Australian markets advanced for the second day in a row after earnings from Telstra, National Australian Bank and Tabcorp and News Corp.

The ASX 200 index gained 14.70 to 4,935 and the broader All Ordinaries increased 15.26 to 4,955.77.

The Australian dollar declined and closed at $1.034 and continued its slide for the third week in a row.

The jobless rate held steady in January at 5.4% and employers added 10,400 new jobs in the month, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Larger than expected increase in part-time jobs helped to keep the jobless rate in check.

Separately, quarterly business survey conducted by the National Australia Bank said business conditions are the weakest since the second quarter in 2009. The index declined to minus 6 from 1 in the previous quarter. The survey highlighted weakness in mining, manufacturing and construction sectors.

Stock Movers

Australand Property Group declined 2.3% to $3.42 after the company estimated lower first-half profit.

Tabcorp Holdings increased 2.5% to $3.15 after the gambling operator reported net income of $72.9 million for the first-half.

Rio Tinto increased 60 cents to $68.68 and BHP gained 13 cents to $37.65 and the company met with workers in Adelaide and announced job losses to trim costs.

Lend Lease slipped 6 cents to $10.20.

Oil Search Limited increased 11 cents to $7.56 and Santos Limited gained 4 cents to $12.14. Beach Energy closed unchanged at $1.36.

Woodside Petroleum rose 13 cents to $35.18 and Origin Energy Limited slumped 26 cents to $12.34.

Whitehaven Coal dropped 5% to $3.02 after regulatory review for the its Maules Creeek project was extended by three months.

Cochlear declined $1.06 to $68.94.

Woolworths added 10 cents to $32.75. Kathmandu slid 5 cents to $1.82 and Wesfarmers up 12 cents to $38.51

David Jones Limited increased 8 cents to $2.62 and. Breville Group up 3 cents to $6.90.

Billabong rose 2 cents to 98.5 cents and Globe International closed unchanged at 45 cents after the company directors were re-elected at a board meeting in Melbourne.

Commonwealth Bank of Australia up 7 cents to $64.70 and Bank of Queensland slipped 6 cents to $8.58 and ANZ advanced 48 cents to $27.51. National Australia Bank jumped 52 cents to $28.63. Westpac slumped 17 cents to $27.96.

NAB gained 4% after it reported a 4% increase in first quarter cash profit and said revenues rose and non performing loans fell.

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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