5:30 PM Sydney – Australian market indexes closed lower and banks led the decliners on the growing uncertainty in the euro zone and rising tensions with Russia. Resource stocks were in focus after OPEC lowered its new oil supply growth estimate in the year.
Australian stocks closed down for the second day after tensions rose anew in the euro zone and leaders in the region are heading for a confrontation with Greece.
Alexis Tsipras, the newly elected leader, reiterated his demand to rollback austerity measures and increase wages and salaries reneging on the promises made by the previous government at the time of 240 billion euro bailout five years.
On the domestic fronts, home prices advanced for the third year in a row and prices in Sydney shot up again.
Home price increase in the fourth-quarter ending in December accelerated to 1.9% from 1.4% in the previous quarter, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said today.
The department added prices in Sydney jumped 3.4%, in Brisbane climbed 5.3% and in Melbourne advanced 4.5%.
From a year ago quarter, home price increase slowed to 6.8% after rising at 9% in the previous quarter.
For all of 2014, home price increased across the nation slowed to 6.8% following 10% jump in 2013 but stronger that 3% rise 2012, the statistics agency said today.
Home prices in Sydney rose 12.2% in the year nearly matching the surge of 14.8% in 2013 and prices in Melbourne rose 4.5% and in Perth gained 1.2%. Prices in Brisbane advanced 5.3%.
Australian dollar closed at 78.20 U.S. cents and in stock-trading turnover slumped to 669 million shares worth $4.43 billion.
ASX 200 Index fell 14.30 or 0.2% to 5,800.60 and broader All Ordinaries Index slid 12.70 to 5,757.40.
In commodities trading, gold declined US$7 to US$1,244 an ounce and light crude oil jumped $1.17 to US$52.86 a barrel.
Brent crude fell 75 cents to close at US$57.59 a barrel.
Australian Stock Movers
tumbled 22.2% to $2.45 after the engineering company reported revenues in the in the first-half period ending in December declined 12.1% to $495.38 million from $563.57 million a year ago period.
Net in the period swung to a loss of $92.60 million compared to profit of $38.09 million and diluted loss per share swung to a 54.1 cents form earnings per share of 22.2 cents in the same period a year ago.
During the quarter, the company said net debt increased $65 million to $434 million.
Boom Logistics Limited
surged 8% to 13.5 cents after the crane logistics and lifting solution provider said revenues in the in the first-half period ending in December plunged 18.8% to $115.61 million from $142.31 million a year ago period.
Net in the period swung to a loss of $3.36 million compared to profit of $4.94 million and diluted loss per share swung to a 0.7 cents form earnings per share of one cent in the same period a year ago.
fell 0.9% to $86.76 after the hearing device maker reported total revenues in the first-half ending in December climbed 18% to $438.3 million form $371.06 million a year ago period.