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Market Update

Australian Indexes Extend 8-Day Rally; JB Hi-Fi, Kathmandu in Focus

Author: Marcus Jacob
Last Update: 9:40 AM ET February 02 2015

5:30 PM Sydney Australian stocks extended rally for the eighth day in a row and investors speculated on interest rate cut decision. Home prices continued to rise across Australia and Melbourne. JB Hi-Fi forecasted flat annul earnings. Kathmandu said first-half sales were lower than expected.

Stocks in Sydney traded higher for the eighth day in a row and investors turned surmised that the rate cut is likely to happen sooner than expected.

Home prices across Australia continued to rise according to the data collected by CoreLogic RP Data.

The home value index showed prices rose 1.3% across the nation and Melbourne led the price surge with 2.7% increase and Sydney prices rose 1.4%.

Prices in Adelaide, Darwin and Perth declined.

Australian dollar closed at 77.85 U.S. cents and in stock-trading turnover declined to 691 million shares worth $4.49 billion.

ASX 200 Index gained 37 or 0.7% to 5,625.30 and broader All Ordinaries Index rose 34.90 to 5,586.50.

In commodities trading, gold climbed US$20 to US$1,281 an ounce and light crude oil jumped $3.71 to US$48.24 a barrel.

Brent crude dropped 74 cents to close at US$52.25 a barrel.

Australian Stock Movers

JB Hi-Fi Limited jumped 1.8% to $17.05 after the consumer product retailer reported total sales in the first-half in the December increased 1.3% to $1.97 billion from $1.94 billion a year ago period. Comparable store sales in the period decreased 0.7%.

Net profit in the period declined 19% to $88.5 million compared to $90.3 million and earnings per share dropped to 89.4 cents from 90.5 cents in the same period a year ago.

The retailer forecasted net profit for the year in the range of $127 million to $131 million.

Kathmandu Holdings Ltd tumbled 27.5% to $1.36 after the online outdoor clothing retailer said total group sales in the first-half ending in January 25 climbed 6.9% to $179.2 million from $167.6 million a year ago period. Same store sales in the period jumped 2.6%.

The retailer forecasted net in the period swung to a loss between $1 million to $2 million compared to profit of $11.4 million a year ago period and operating earnings between $6 million and $7 million.

Lend Lease Group fell 0.7% to $16.56 after the property and infrastructure developer secured a contract worth about $2.6 billion to design motorway in a joint venture with France-based Bouygues Construction.

Construction is scheduled to commence in early 2015 and is likely to complete by the end of 2019.

WAM Capital Limited gained 1.5% to $2.04 after the investment company said revenues in the first-half ending in December declined 46.8% to $39.60 million from a year ago period.

Net income in the period plunged 55.8% to $22.96 million compared to $51.92 million and diluted earnings per share slumped to 6.70 pence from 16.13 pence in the same period a year ago.

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