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Market Update

Australian Indexes Ease as Earnings Season Begins

Author: Marcus Jacob
Last Update: 10:03 AM ET February 03 2014

4:30 PM Sydney Australian indexes eased at close in the absence of domestic economic news. The Aussie dollar trended lower and the stock trading turnover dropped near the low of the year. Country Road reported surge in sales and earnings. JB Hi-Fi revised higher annual outlook.

Australian indexes trended lower in weak trading and the Aussie dollar held firm but retained a negative bias.

Australian dollar slid to 87.51 U.S. cents and in stock market trading turnover dropped to 518 million shares worth $3 billion.

The ASX 200 index inched lowered 2.10 to 5,187.90 and the broader All Ordinaries slid 3.20 to 5,201.90.

Stocks in Review

Rio Tinto slipped 30 cents to $65.34. BHP slid 13 cents to $36.44. Woodside Petroleum Limited rose 17 cents to $37.55.

Westpac added 12 cents to $30.99.

Argo Investments Limited slid 0.1% to $7.28 after the investment company reported total revenue in the first-half ending in December increased to $109.2 million from $94.8 million a year earlier.

Profit for the period soared 18.1% to $101.9 compared to $86.3 million and earnings per share climbed 15.3% to 15.8 cents per share a year ago.

Country Road Limited closed unchanged at $4.83 after the apparel and accessory retailer said total revenue in the first-half ending on December 28 soared 27.4% to $424.59 million from $334.08 million a year ago.

Profit for the period surged 71.7% to $37.95 million compared to $22.11 million a year earlier.

CuDeco Limited jumped 2.7% to $1.50 after a report that Glencore Xstrata and MMG withdrew rail load facility in Queensland from the joint venture and the mineral explorer now owns entire stake in the company.

JB Hi-Fi Limited climbed 3.1% to $18.55 after the consumer products retailer estimated total sales in the first-half in December jumped 6.8% to $1.94 billion. Profit in the period surged 10% $90.3 million compared to $82.1 million a year ago.

JB Hi-Fi lifted its sales guidance for the year to increase in the range between 6% and 8%.

SP AusNe fell 1.2% to $1.23 after the electricity network service provider raised 350 million or $543 million through a ten-year bond issue. The company reported net profit of $97.7 million in the fiscal 2014 first-half.

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