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Market Update

Australian Index Lack Direction; Harvey Norman, Beach Energy in Focus


Author: Marcus Jacob
ticker.com
Last Update: 12:12 PM ET October 27 2015

5:30 PM Sydney, Australia Australian market indexes closed down in thin trading and energy and resource stocks led the decliners. Harvey Norman said quarterly sales increased 6.1%. Beach Energy said quarterly sales declined 15%.

Australian market indexes lost early momentum after trading volume dipped near the low in the year.

Australian dollar closed at 72.37 U.S. cents and in stock trading turnover jumped to 684 million shares worth $4.2 billion.

At close, the ASX 200 Index fell 1.80 to 5,346.20 and the broader All Ordinaries Index edged down 1.70 to 5,384.60.

In commodities trading, gold fell US$1 to US$1,165 an ounce and Brent crude future for immediate month delivery slid 35 cents to US$47.19 a barrel.

IPO

Farmaforce Limited plunged 8.6% to 32 cents after the pharmaceutical contract services provider priced its stock at 30 cents.

The stock opened at 35 cents and closed at 32 cents.

Link Administration Holdings Limited surged 11% to $7.07 after the back office services provider priced its stock at 30 cents.

The stock opened at 35 cents and closed at 32 cents.

The company has 4,300 employees and business in 11 countries and 95% of its revenue is from Australia and New Zealand.

Australian Stock Movers

Beach Energy Ltd declined 7.3% to 63.5 cents after the oil and gas explorer said total sales in the year ending in September tumbled 15% to $145 million on the lower realized oil prices.

The company said production in the quarter increased 1% to 2.26 million barrels of oil equivalents and priced at an average price of $67.60 per barrel, 19% lower from the year ago period.

Harvey Norman Holdings Limited jumped 3.1% to $3.98 after the consumer goods retailer reported global sales in the first-quarter ending in September jumped 6.1% from a year ago to $1.50 billion and comparable sales in the quarter soared 7%.

Pre-tax profit in the quarter surged 27.8% to $91.8 million compared to $71.9 million in the same period a year ago.

National Australia Bank Ltd was halted at $32.42 after the banking and insurance services provider agreed to sell 80% stake of its underperforming life insurance business valued at about 220 billion yen or $2.51 billion to Japan-based Nippon Life Insurance Company.

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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