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Market Update

Australian New Home Sales Rise 5.8%, Macquarie Annual Net Soars 49%

Author: Marcus Jacob
Last Update: 9:21 AM ET May 02 2014

5:00 PM Sydney – Australian stocks closed higher and for the week the benchmark index declined 1.3%. Stock trading turnover was dipped below 60-day average and investors focused on domestic earnings.

Australian stocks closed higher in a choppy session and trading volume was light.

Investors awaited Reserve Bank of Australia meeting on Tuesday and interest rates are expected to be held at record low 2.5%.

The Housing Industry Association reported new home sales in the March quarter jumped 5.8%, an increase of 23.4% from a year ago.

Australian dollar closed at 92.74 U.S. cents and stock market trading turnover declined to 603 million shares worth $3.49 billion.

The ASX 200 index rose 9.30 or 0.2% to 5,458.10 and the broader All Ordinaries gained 8.40 to 5,438.80. For the week, ASX 200 dropped 1.3%.

Stocks in Review

Rio Tinto added 19 cents to $60.98. BHP fell 23 cents to $37.27. Woodside Petroleum Limited slid 0.5% to $40.64.

Westpac Banking Corp gained 17 cents to $34.87.

Brierty Limited surged 12.7% to 40 cents after the civil and mining contractor secured a mining services contract from Rio Tinto worth $300 million for four-and-a-half years at the Western Turner Syncline Stage 2 Projects in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

Macquarie Group Ltd gained 0.9% to $58.70 after the investment bank reported net profit in the year ending in March surged 49% to $1.26 billion and profit for the second-half climbed 52% to $764 million from a year ago.

Net operating income in the year soared 22% to $8.1billion and net interest and trading income to $3.3 billion from the year ago period.

Macquarie’s assets under management at the year ending in March were $427 billion, up from $347 billion compared to a year earlier.

Myer Holdings Limited declined 2.3% after the company reported fiscal third quarter sales declined 1% to $645.5 million.

Padbury Mining Limited plunged 85% to 0.5 cents after the scrapped its plan to revive the Oakajee port and rail project in Western Australia.

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