5:00 PM Sydney – Australian stocks fell sharply and broader indexes dropped 1.3% after economy expanded at a slower than expected pace of 0.6% in March quarter. Trading volume picked up and Australian dollar held firm.
Australian stocks fell sharply after the March quarter economic expansion was lower than expected. In addition, weak international market sentiment also weighed on market mood.
The ASX 200 index dropped 65.60 point or 1.3% to close at 4,835 and the broader All Ordinaries slumped 61.50 to 4,825.20.
Australian Bureau of Statistics reported gross domestic product in March quarter grew a seasonally adjusted 0.6% and for the year to March expanded at 2.5%, at a rate below expectations in the March quarter.
Australian dollar traded at 96.06 U.S. cents and in stock trading turnover jumped to 1 billion worth $5 billion.
Stocks in Review
Rio Tinto slumped 77 cents to $54.36 and BHP decreased 47 cents to $33.79.
Woodside Petroleum Limited fell 30 cents to $35.81.
David Jones Limited rose 2 cents to $2.52 and Breville Group slid 7 cents to $7.21.
Woolworths slipped 23 cents to $32.32.
Mirvac Group lowered 3 cents to $1.58. Lend Lease dropped 24 cents to $9.55.
Westpac declined 76 cents to $28.19, Commonwealth down 1.3% to $66.25 and National Australia Bank fell 2.2% to $28.95 and ANZ decreased 2.5% to $27.20.
Atlas Iron Limited jumped 3.6% to 86 cents after the iron ore explorer responded to media speculation and said the company is in talk with the existing infrastructure providers and continuing to work with its partners to assess the viability of an independent port and railway in the Pilbara.
Federation Centres Ltd slid 1 cent to $2.45 after the shopping mall operator plan to sell 50% of its interests in six asset shopping centre businesses to fund manager Challenger Limited for $602 million. The company will retain small stake and also operate shopping centers in a partnership.
Virgin Australia Holdings Limited slipped 1.1% or 46 cents after an unidentified buyer purchased 120 million shares for $56 million through a dark pool trading platform managed by Deutsche Bank.