8:00 PM Sydney – Australian stocks edged lower on the first day of a short trading week after producer prices declined in the March quarter. Investors are expecting consumer price index to show an increase of at least 0.6% tomorrow.
Australian indexes retreated from eight month high after latest quarterly producer prices declined and investors awaited the release of consumer price index tomorrow.
Market sentiment was after a private survey in China indicated manufacturing sector continues to contract but showed a slight improvement on sustained construction activity which many private economists believe is in a bubble like conditions.
The ASX 200 index fell 14.10 to 4,352.40 and All Ordinaries index edged down 14.12 to 4,430.30.
The Australian dollar traded lower to $1.033 after the release of wholesale price index.
Australian producer prices index declined 0.3% in the quarter to March and fell 1.4% from a year ago. The decline in prices was broad across various sectors in the economy. The costs of agriculture products fell 17.7%, building products declined 0.2% and industrial machinery and equipment dropped 2.4%. However, the prices of electricity, utility and water supply increased 2.1%.
Biota Holdings dropped 9% after the flu drug maker agreed to be acquire the U.S. based Nabi Biopharmaceuticals. The purchase will increase its sales to $250 million and pave its way to a U.S. listing. Biota hopes to win a shareholder and regulatory approvals to delist its share in Australia.
BHP Billiton closed down 18 cents to $35.32 and Rio Tinto added 2 cents to $66.65.
Lynas Corporation Limited closed down 3 cents to $1.09 and Iluka Resources decreased 13 cents to $17.32.
Newcrest Mining dropped 45 cents to $27.60 and Kingsgate decreased 7 cents to $6.34.
Oil Search Limited unchanged to $7.39. Woodside Petroleum slipped 7 cents to $34.96 and Santos Limited declined 21 cents to $13.88.
David Jones Limited unchanged to $2.46, Harvey Norman Holdings closed unchanged at $2.00 and Woolworths fell 5 cents to $25.83. Myer edged down 3 cent to $2.32 and Kathmandu rose 1 cent to $1.35.
Billabong International Limited added 2 cents to $2.78.
Westpac Banking Corporation gained 4 cents to $22.14 and Commonwealth Bank of Australia rose 1 cent to $50.95. Bank of Queensland slipped 2 cents to $7.10. ANZ added 1 cent to $23.46 and Macquarie Group decreased 8 cents to $28.84.
Stockland fell 2 cents to $3.04.
Qantas decreased 3 cents to $1.62, Virgin Australia edged down 0.05 cents to 40.5 cents and Flight Centre declined 23 cents to $21.22.
QR National fell 4 cents to $3.63.