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Market Update

Australian Indexes Struggle, Wesfarmers to Return $579 Million

Author: Marcus Jacob
Last Update: 12:18 PM ET August 15 2013

4:45 PM Sydney Australian market indexes traded sideways and trading volume increased. Retail and resource sector conglomerate Wesfarmers Limited said full-year net income increased 6.3%. The wealth manager AMP Limited said first-half net increased 6%.

Australian market indexes traded sideways and trading volume picked from the low last week.

Australian dollar jumped to 91.65 U.S. cents and in stock trading turnover climbed to 917 million shares worth $5.3 billion.

The ASX 200 index fell 5 to close at 5,152.40 and the broader All Ordinaries slid 4.30 to 5,136.70.

Weekly wages for all Australian full-time employees increased 5.3% in the year to May, Australian Bureau of Statistics said today. Private sector average earnings increased 5.7% and rose 4.5% for government employees.

Stocks in Review

Rio Tinto slumped 53 cents to $61.40 and the mining company plans to lay off approx 1,700 employees and contractors at its newly built Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold mine after dispute with the Mongolian government on $5.49 billion underground expansion project.

BHP jumped 43 cents to $37.33 and Woodside Petroleum Limited rose 9 cents to $38.31.

David Jones Limited slid 3 cents to $2.80 and Breville Group slipped 13 cents to $7.358. Woolworths dropped 34 cents to $33.27.

Mirvac Group closed unchanged at $1.64.

Lend Lease fell 11 cents to $9.06 and won a $20 million tax dispute for stamp duty. The group won the appeal against revenue commissioner in the Supreme Court of Victoria.

Westpac gained 9 cents to $31.60 and National Australia Bank rose 16 cents to $31.48.

AMP Limited climbed 3.5% to $4.70 after the wealth manager reported net profit in the first-half jumped 5.4% to $393 million from $373 million a year earlier.

CFS Retail Property Trust slid 0.5% to $2.07 and the trust will not proceed with its plan to sell four sub-regional shopping centers of about $446.5 million to a newly formed fund Pacific Retail REIT.

Fortescue Metals Group Limited dropped 2.1% to $4.20 after the iron ore producer completed expansion of its port facilities at Port Hedland for $2.4 billion.

Fortescue benefited from expansion and extends its export capacity to 155 million tons per annum. The company reported net profit in the first-half to $460.3 million.

Goodman Group rose 0.4% to $4.80 after the industrial property investor said net profit for the year ending in June plunged 60% to $161 million from $408.3 million a year earlier, but operating profit jumped 17% to $544 million mainly after foreign exchange movements.

As on June, Goodman raised $2.8 billion in the year apart from additional $1.2 billion.

Wesfarmers Limited slipped 1.6% to $41.26 after the retailer reported net profit for the year ending in June jumped 6.3% to $2.26 billion from $2.13 billion a year earlier.

The retailer added earnings at its Coles supermarket segment climbed 13% to $1.53 billion and its Target division full-year EBIT declined to $136 million from $244 million the year earlier.

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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