6:30 PM Sydney – Australian stocks eased the Reserve Bank left the key rate at record low 3%. Central bank also cited inflation within its target range and left impression of future rate cut at its next meeting in May. Transurban hiked dividend. Cochlear returned to profit. Macquarie Group estimated lower net.
Australian stocks closed lower and the central bank left its key rate unchanged at historic lows and left a room for another cut.
Reserve Bank of Australian left its key rate at 3% and in an accompanying statement said inflation is within the target range of 2% to 3% and there is a room for the rate to ease more.
Economists and traders had expected RBA to be on hold but were mildly surprised but the dovish statement. The dollar eased against the yen, the U.S. dollar and the euro.
The ASX 200 index slumped 24.80 or 0.5% to 4,882.70 and the broader All Ordinaries dropped 26.55 to 4,902.59.
The Australian dollar declined and closed at $1.039.
Rio Tinto declined 66 cents to $67.33 and BHP dropped 63 cents to $37.18.
Newcrest Mining gained 12 cents to $23.63. Kingsgate slipped 5 cents to $4 and Whitehaven Coal slumped 9 cents to $3.20.
Transfield Services added 2 cents to $1.83 and engineering contractor WorleyParsons decreased 31 cents to $25.14. Monadelphous Group dropped 51 cents to $26.13 and Downer EDI slipped 10 cents to $4.44.
Linc Energy fell 1 cent to $2.04 after a report in BusinessDay questioned abilities of the company to deliver ultra-clean fuel around $30 a barrel.
Transurban gained 0.5% after the company reported net profit of $81.1 million in the six-month period to December, down from $96.6 million a year ago period. Revenues in the period increased 3.1% to $397.7 million.
Transurban increased the interim dividend to 15.5 cents from 14.5 cents a year ago period.
Lend Lease dropped 23 cents to $10.21.
Oil Search Limited slipped 5 cents to $7.24 and Santos Limited slid 11 cents to $11.86. Beach Energy lowered 3 cents to $1.36.
Woodside Petroleum slumped 56 cents to $34.90 and Origin Energy Limited gained 7 cents to $12.56.
Cochlear declined 3.4% or $2.75 to $77.71 and said revenues in the first half to December increased 27% and sold record 13,672 hearing implants. In the quarter, profit swung to $77.7 million from a net loss of $20.4 million a year ago period.
Woolworths gained 17 cents to $31.78. Kathmandu fell 2 cents to $1.84 and Wesfarmers increased 42 cents to $38.03
David Jones Limited lowered 4 cents to $2.45 and. Breville Group rose 6 cents to $6.85.
Billabong closed unchanged at 95.5 cents.