5:00 PM Sydney, Australia – Australian market indexes extended losses for the fifth day in a row after unemployment rate unexpectedly jumped to 6.4%, a 12-year high. Rio Tinto said first-half earnings increased 21% to $5.1 billion. Tabcorp Holdings annual net increased 2.6%.
Australian markets opened lower and fell sharply after the latest unemployment rate surged to a 12-year high. Market indexes extended losses for the fifth day in a row, the longest stretch of losses after eight months when indexes declined for six days in a row.
On the economic front, unemployment in July unexpectedly soared to 6.4% compared to 6% in the last month.
Australian dollar closed at 92.68 U.S. cents and stock trading turnover jumped to 774 million shares worth $4.75 billion.
ASX 200 index slid 3 to 5,509 and the broader All Ordinaries fell 3.30 to 5,500.07.
After the close, Rio Tinto reported first-half earnings increased to $5.1 billion, 21% increase from a year ago period.
Also, iron ore prices held steady near $95.50 a ton in trading in Shanghai.
Stocks in Review
Australand Property Group
gained 0.9% to $4.48 after the commercial and industrial property developer said Singapore-based Frasers Centrepoint Ltd received 46.03% acceptances of Australand security holders, less than required to complete the deal.
The $4.48 per share offer is due to expire tonight and unless Frasers receives acceptances for more than 50% the offer will lapse.
fell 0.4% to $7.36 after the natural gas infrastructure developer agreed to sell its 33% stake in Envestra Limited to the Cheung Kong group consortium. The group of investors offered $1.32 per Envestra share totaling $784 million.
jumped 2.1% to $3.85 after the financial service provider said total revenue in the year ending in June soared 11.4% to $316.6 million from $284.1 million a year ago period.
Net profit in the year plunged 12.6% to $57.6 million compared to $65.8 million and diluted earnings per share declined to 18.9 cents from 22.7 cents a year earlier.
Tabcorp Holdings Limited
climbed 3.2% to $3.56 after the diversified entertainment company reported revenue in the year ending in June increased 1.8% to $2.04 billion from $2 billion a year ago period.
Net profit in the year jumped 2.6% to $129.9 million compared to $126.6 million and diluted earnings per share were flat at 17.1 cents from a year earlier.