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Market Update

Australian Indexes Weaken; Retail Sales Rise, Home Prices Fall

Author: Marcus Jacob
Last Update: 9:49 AM ET June 03 2013

5:00 PM Sydney Australian indexes closed lower after a sell-off in the afternoon after China released softer than expected economic data. Resource sector stocks closed down 1.7% or more. Australian retail sales gained 0.2% in April and manufacturing growth decline slowed in May.

Australian markets closed lower as investors digested a barrage of domestic economic data and economic indicators from China.

Australian retail sale increased in April 0.2% to $21.89 billion after adjusting for seasonal factors, Australian Bureau of Statistics said today.

Separately, Australian Industry Group said today its manufacturing index improved 7.1 points to 43.8. The PMI index below 50 indicates contraction.

The manufacturing sector outlook has improved considerably but still the industry growth is contracting according to the latest data.

In addition, the index of home value declined for the second month in a row according to the index released by the RP Data-Rismark today.

The index dropped 1.2% in May after declining 0.5% in April. For the first quarter to March, the index had increased 2.8%.

Australian dollar closed at 96.54 U.S. cents and in stock trading turnover decreased to 774 million shares worth $4.2 billion.

Stocks in Review

Telstra Corporation Limited declined 2% to $4.66 after the telecom operator confirmed the presence of asbestos at its infrastructure but said legal liability from the claims is likely to be limited.

Rio Tinto Limited declined 2.5% to $53.80 and talks on trading desks lifted the hopes of the company splitting off it diamond division in a series of transactions on the London Stock Exchange for more than $2 billion.

The company is also expected to float its Pacific Aluminum division on the Australian Stock Exchange.

Cochlear Limited confirmed that sale in the second half has slowed ahead of the release of the newest range of products.

OGL Resources Limited confirmed that the Queensland Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from preventing the company to reopen the Ebenezer coal mine. The company plans to accelerate the plans to reopen the mine.

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