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Market Update

Australian Rates on Hold, Online Sales Growth Slows

Author: Marcus Jacob
Last Update: 10:20 AM ET April 02 2013

6:30 PM Sydney Reserve Bank of Australia left its key rate unchanged at record low 3%. Australian dollar gained and financial stocks led the market advance. Online sales growth declined in February. Australian capital cities home prices increased 1.3% in March.

Stocks advanced after the Reserve Bank of Australia left its key rate at 3%, lowest on the record and financials led the gainers in trading today.

The central bank last cut rates by 25 basis points to 3%, historic low, in December and cited its willingness to ease more if warranted.

The ASX 200 index gained 19 or 0.4% to 4,985.50 and the broader All Ordinaries increased 15.66 to 4,995.53.

Australian dollar traded near one-month high and closed at $1.046.

In stock trading, turnover declined to 1.39 billion shares worth $3.3 billion.

Separately, metropolitan home prices increased 1.3% in March from a year ago according to the latest data released by RP Data and Rismark.

In addition, online sales growth in February declined in February after rising strongly in January. The online sales index increased 19% from a year ago month and for the twelve months period sales totaled $13.1 billion or 5.9% of all retail sales.

Stock Movers

Rio Tinto slipped 70 cents to $56.50 and BHP slid 4 cents to $32.72. Fortescue Metals Group slumped 14 cents to $3.80.

Woodside Petroleum rose 18 cents to $36 and Santos fell 6 cents to $12.37.

Newcrest Mining gained 5 cents to $20.10, Kingsgate jumped 11 cents to $4 and Whitehaven Coal declined 9 cents or 4.3% to $2.03.

David Jones Limited added 3 cents to $3.02 and Breville Group up 11 cent to $6.01.

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

Globe International rose 1 cent to 41 cents.

Woolworths climbed 57 cents to $34.36. Kathmandu slid 3 cents to $2.02.

Toll Holdings fell 5 cents to $5.88, Leighton slumped 26 to $20.28 and Mirvac Group added 3 cents to $1.65. Lend Lease rose 3 cents to $10.23.

Leighton slipped 26 cents to $20.28.

Westpac jumped 26 cents to $31.02, Commonwealth gained 1.4% to $68.95 and National Australia Bank added 0.4% to $30.95 and ANZ rose 29 cents to $28.82.

Macquarie Group up 26 cents to $37.41 and Wesfarmers jumped 52 cents to $40.72.

Nufarm climbed 12 cents to $4.07. Linc Energy declined 12 cents or 5.4% to $2.12.

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