5:30 PM Sydney – Australian market indexes trimmed losses in the session in active trading. Commonwealth Bank of Australia reported higher earnings and said bad debt charges are falling and home loan demand is strong on lower interest rates.
Australian stocks opened lower after iron ore prices declined but market indexes managed to pare losses in the late afternoon.
The Australian Industry Group said services sector activity in October declined 1.8 points to 43.6 for eighth months in a row and the lowest reading since August 2013.
Australian dollar rose to 87.39 U.S. cents and in stock-trading turnover jumped to 712 million shares worth $4.7 billion.
ASX 200 Index slid 2 to 5,517.90 and broader All Ordinaries Index fell 5.40 to 5,492.80.
In commodities trading, gold slipped US$6 to US$1,163 an ounce and light crude oil slumped $1.59 to US$77.19 a barrel.
Australian Stock Movers
Commonwealth Bank of Australia
increased 0.9% to $81.56 after the bank reported statutory profit in the first-quarter ending in September of $2.4 billion from $2.1 billion a year ago period.
The bank maintained profit level for the year of about $9.6 billion.
In a trading update, the lender said bad debt charges continued to decrease and lower interest rates are driving home loans demands higher.
jumped 2.9% to $3.60 after the building products maker reported revenue in the first-half ending in September climbed 15% to $1 billion from $877.1 million a year ago period.
Net profit in the period surged 48.4%to $68.4 million compared to $46.1 million and diluted earnings per share jumped to 13.6 cents from 9.1 cents in the same period a year ago.
Downer EDI Limited
gained 1% to $4.71 after the engineering services provider lifted full-year net profit forecast to $210 million from $205 million after $300 million acquisition of private contractor Tenix Holdings.
Transfield Services Limited
climbed 2.2% to $1.90 after the infrastructure developer lifted underlying earnings guidance for the year to between $260 million and $280 million.
The company said it will not negotiate with Spain-based Ferrovial on $873.60 million takeover offer until it agrees not to buy company shares for three months.