5:00 PM Sydney – Australian stocks took a breather and April jobless rate decreased to 5.5%. News Corp third quarter net increased to $2.8 billion. Santos Limited raised expectation for higher dividend. NAB said first half net increased 23%.
Australian stocks held firm after unemployment rate eased and number of employed expanded to 11.66 million.
The ASX 200 index inched lowered 1.40 to 5,198.40 and the broader All Ordinaries fell 3.60 to 5,174.30.
Australian dollar closed up at $1.023 against the U.S. dollar and in stock trading turnover increased to 854 million worth $5.8 billion.
Australian jobless rate surprising economists.
In April, unemployment rate slid 0.1% to 5.5% as total employment expanded to 11.663 million, reported the Australian Bureau of Statistics today.
China’s inflation rate climbed above expectation but remained below than the government’s forecasted in March.
The National Bureau of Statistics showed, inflation in China increased to 2.4% in April from 2.1% the month before and below forecast of annual rate to 3.5% the Chinese government.
Stocks in Review
Rio Tinto slipped 70 cents to $58.20 and BHP increased 24 cents to $34.54.
Woodside Petroleum Limited slid 5 cents to $36.97.
David Jones Limited closed unchanged at $2.90 and Breville Group fell 5 cents to $7.10.
Woolworths gained 6 cents to $34.61.
Mirvac Group rose 2 cents to $1.75. Lend Lease increased 8 cents to $10.87.
Westpac jumped 40 cents to $33.35, Commonwealth slid 0.3% to $71.04 and National Australia Bank declined 2.1% to $32.68 and ANZ fell 0.5% to $30.59.
National Australia Bank shares declined despite the first-half net profit soared 23% to $2.52 billion.
News Corporation climbed 90 cents to $32.47 after the third quarter net profit jumped more than expected to $2.8 billion and said businesses are on track to formally split.
Santos Limited gained 18 cents to $12.83 after Ken Borda, chairman showed a flexibility to review dividend policy as the oil explorer approaches the production schedule.
Project in Papua New Guinea of oil and gas producer for S19 billion is expected to start shipments to Asia in 2014.