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Market Update

Australian New Home Sales Fall 5.3%, Dollar Gains

Author: Hiruki Nakamura
Last Update: 9:59 AM ET April 03 2013

6:30 PM Sydney Australian stocks declined and the dollar gained as commodities prices eased. New home sales tumbled 5.3% in February after rising for four months in a row.

Stocks in Sydney edged lower and new home sales tumbled and commodities prices eased in trading today.

The ASX 200 index slipped 27.80 or 0.6% to 4,957.70 and the broader All Ordinaries decreased 29.09 to 4,966.44.

Australian dollar traded near one-month high and closed at $1.049 and in stock trading, turnover increased to $5.1 billion.

New home sales declined 5.3% in February after rising for four months in a row, according to the latest data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Stock Movers

Rio Tinto dropped $1.12 to $55.38 and BHP slipped 49 cents to $32.23. Fortescue Metals Group fell 13 cents to $3.67.

West Australia Premier Colin Barnett put more pressure on Woodside and its partners to finalize the investment in Browse gas project and threatened that any delay in decision to invest could set the project back five to ten years.

Woodside Petroleum slid 23 cents to $35.77 and Santos dropped 26 cents to $12.11.

Newcrest Mining declined 60 cents to $19.50, Kingsgate plunged 28 cents or 7% to $3.72 and Whitehaven Coal decreased 6 cents to $1.97.

David Jones Limited jumped 9 cents to $3.11 and Breville Group fell 1 cent to $6. Billabong closed unchanged at 73 cents and Globe International closed unchanged at 41 cents.

Billabong traded unchanged at 73 cents before it was placed on hold as talks with two suitors dragged on.

Woolworths slipped 24 cents to $34.12. Kathmandu fell 1 cent to $2.01.

Toll Holdings slumped 8 cents to $5.80, Leighton slid 21 to $20.07 and Mirvac Group down 1 cents to $1.63. Lend Lease lowered 9 cents to $10.14.

Westpac rose 13 cents to $31.15, Commonwealth fell 0.7% to $68.45 and National Australia Bank gained 0.5% to $31.11 and ANZ declined 55 cents to $28.27.

Macquarie Group added 3 cents to $37.44 and Wesfarmers down 3 cents to $40.69.

Nufarm increased 6 cents to $4.13. Linc Energy dropped 10 cents or 4.7% to $2.02.

Sources: Data collected by 123jump.com and Ticker.com from company press releases, filings and corporate websites. Market data: BATS Exchange. Inc