5:10 PM Sydney – Australian market indexes traded lower in a choppy session. Jobless rate in Australia declined from a four-year high to 5.6% in September. Bank of Queensland swung to annual net profit on lower operating costs. Transurban Group said it is close to finalizing details with the NSW government about $2.65 billion tunnel project.
Australian stocks looked to international markets and struggled to find a direction as the U.S. political stalemate continued and China and Japan weighed in the debate.
The ASX 200 index decreased 6 points to close at 5,147. In trading, 648 million shares changed hands worth $3.7 billion.
The Australian dollar closed at 93.96 U.S. cents.
Australia added seasonally adjusted 9,100 jobs to a total of 11.6 million in September, Australian Bureau of Statistics said today.
The unemployment rate declined from a four-year high of 5.8% in August to 5.6% in September.
Stocks in Review
Transurban Group increased 0.6% to $6.99 and Chairman Lindsay Maxsted said that the company and the NSW government has made “solid progress” in finalizing the 8 kilometer $2.65 billion tunnel project.
Worleyparsons Limited extended losses for the second day and declined 1.4% to $22.41 and several analysts downgraded the stock after the company issued earnings warnings.
Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse commented that the company should be benefiting from the lower costs and weaker foreign exchange rates.
Bank of Queensland’s Limited soared 6.7% after the insurer swung to a net profit of $185.8 million from a loss of $17 million in the last fiscal year.
Cash Converters International Limited decreased 3.6% after a report suggested that the retailer forced several customers to pay for interest rate that exceeded statutory limit.