5:00 PM Sydney – Australian markets closed lower and the dollar edged lower and trading volume picked up. Retail sales in March declined unexpectedly 0.4%. Leighton Holdings reaffirmed its full-year earnings outlook. Tabcorp faces one-time charges linked healthcare taxes.
Australian markets pared gains after March retail sales unexpectedly declined and resource prices in international markets held firm with a slight positive bias.
The ASX 200 index gained 26.70 or 0.5% to 5,156.20 and the broader All Ordinaries rose 28.40 to 5,133.80.
Australian dollar closed up at $1.028 against the U.S. dollar and in stock trading turnover increased to 639 million worth $3.4 billion.
Australian retail sales in March declined 0.4% to $21.87 billion on the 4.2% fall in footwear, clothing and personal accessories, Australian Bureau of Statistics said today.
Stocks in Review
Rio Tinto increased $1.71 to $56.20 and BHP gained 90 cents to $32.87 and Woodside Petroleum Limited slipped 59 cents to $37.18
David Jones Limited rose 1 cent to $2.88 and Breville Group slipped 10 cents to $6.87.
Boral Limited dropped 3.2% to $4.52 after the company said weak housing sector and construction materials and building products operations adverse third quarter earnings.
Tabcorp Holdings Limited rose 0.9% to $3.47 after the gaming company said full year earnings will be impacted by an $18.3 million levy decision from the Victorian government.
Leighton Holdings Limited jumped 2.2% to $19.43 after the company reaffirmed its full year profit guidance of up to $600 million. The construction company posted a net profit in the first quarter of $123 million from loss of $80 million a year ago earlier.
Woolworths lowered 7 cents to $35.52.
Mirvac Group added 2 cents to $1.74. Lend Lease gained 6 cents to $10.52.
Westpac jumped 38 cents to $33.17, Commonwealth rose 0.9% to $71.67 and National Australia Bank slumped 0.7% to $33.50 and ANZ fell 0.3% to $31.51.