6:30 PM Sydney – Australian markets held firm for the third day in a row and banks and defensive companies led the gainers and miners led the decliners. ANZ reported a decline in profit in the latest quarter.
Australian indexes closed lower in a directionless trading and the benchmark index held above 5,000.
The ASX 200 index inched lowered 3 to 5,033.90 and the broader All Ordinaries slid 2.64 to 5,054.57.
For the week, the ASX 200 index increased 1.3%.
The Australian dollar declined to $1.032 and held firm near the recent lows but currency traders are worried that the currency may slide to 99 cents.
In trading, turnover increased to 1.8 billion shares worth $4.5 billion and 477 stocks increased, 495 decreased and 384 closed unchanged.
Rio Tinto declined $1.92 to $70.15 and BHP slumped 30 cents to $38.59. Lend Lease increased 19 cents to $10.69.
Woodside Petroleum jumped 51 cents to $36.90 and Origin Energy Limited added 4 cents to $12.16.
David Jones Limited rose 2 cents to $2.69 and. Breville Group lowered 5 cents to $6.89.
Billabong added 1 cent to 96 cents and Globe International closed unchanged at 40 cents.
Commonwealth Bank of Australia gained 13 cents to $67.03 and Bank of Queensland closed unchanged at $8.82 and ANZ slipped 29 cents to $27.77. National Australia Bank increased 16 cents to $29.51. Westpac climbed 39 cents to $29.15.
ANZ reported statutory net profit for the December quarter declined to $1.36 billion from $1.7 billion in the year ago. Cash profit was $1.53 billion.
Macquarie Group slumped 30 cents to $37.80 and Toll Holdings up 4 cents to $5.54, Leighton dropped 69 cents to $22.68 and property developer Mirvac Group fell 1 cent to $1.54.
Westfield Group lowered 4 cents to $10.97.