6:30 PM Sydney – Financial markets in Sydney traded higher after slightly positive comments from RBA Governor Glenn Stevens. Billabong reported a large loss and was forced to revise its credit terms with banks. Casino operator Crown reported 40% decline in first half profit.
Australian stocks closed higher after slightly positive comments from the RBA Governor Glenn Stevens before the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics at Parliament House.
He noted in his comments that in the medium China is likely to grow at a slower pace than in the previous decade as the country attempts a more balanced growth and manage financial risks better.
He also noted financial markets around the world have increased more than 20% since June last year and borrowing conditions for creditworthy borrowers remain “extraordinarily favorable.”
The ASX 200 index increased 38 or 0.8% to 5,018.10 and the broader All Ordinaries gained 38.15 to 5,036.71.
For the week, the ASX 200 index slid 0.3%.
The Australian dollar declined to $1.033.
AMP declined 15 cents to $5.27, IAG gained 8 cents to $5.65, Origin Energy advanced 17 cents to $11.50
Rio Tinto slipped 58 cents to $66.72 and BHP lowered 30 cents to $36.87. Lend Lease up 7 cents to $10.50. Fortescue Metals Group added 3 cents to $4.83. Woodside Petroleum slumped 25 cents to $37.70.
Billabong, the surfwear retailer declined 5% to 86 cents after it reported first half loss of $537 million and said it is in breach of its debt covenant.
Qantas slid 2 cents to $1.63 after the airline reported net income more than doubled to $111 million.
Santos increased 3% to $12.26 after it reported profit for the full year to December declined to $519 million from $753 million a year ago when the company booked gains from asset sales.
The natural gas explorer confirmed its production target for 2013 between 53 million and 57 million barrels and maintained its final dividend of 15 cents a share.
Transpacific Industries reported first half profit increased to $32.3 million from $7.8 million in the period a year ago.
Crown, the casino operator increased 0.2% to $11.57 after it reported 34% decline in first half profit to $180.8 million from $274 million in the period a year ago.
Banks closed higher.
Westpac increased 2%, Commonwealth gained 1.4% and National Australian Bank added 1.9% and ANZ inched up 0.8%.