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Market Update

Australian Services Index Contract, Westpac Banking Net Jumps 10%

Author: Marcus Jacob
Last Update: 8:55 AM ET May 03 2013

5:00 PM Sydney – Australian market indexes traded flat after the latest private survey on service industry showed a contraction at the fastest pace since December. Trading volume was near the monthly average. Westpac Banking reported 10% jump in first-half earnings and declared one-time additional dividend of 10 cents a share.

Australian markets traded flat after the latest private survey on industry showed a continued contraction and resource prices held in international trading.

The ASX 200 index inched lowered 0.50 to 5,129.50 and the broader All Ordinaries edged up 1.30 to 5,105.30.

Australian dollar closed up at $1.026 against the U.S. dollar and in stock trading turnover increased to 659 million worth $4 billion.

The private survey conducted by the Australian Industry Group and Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s Performance Services Index declined 5.5 points to 44.1 in April.

The index below 50 shows a decline in activities, and the fall in the month was the largest since December.

Stocks in Review

Westpac Banking Corp declined 1% after the bank reported better than expected first-half cash earnings increase of 10% to $3.5 billion and declared a one-time additional dividend of 10 cents a share to an interim dividend of 86 cents.

Macquarie Group Limited reported a 17% jump in full-year profit to $851 million. The largest investment bank said profit jumped on positive market conditions and cost cutting.

Rio Tinto gained 58 cents to $54.49 and BHP rose 18 cents to $31.97. Fortescue Metals Group gained 8 cents to $3.41.

Woodside Petroleum Limited fell 21 cents to $36.59. Santos added 6 cents to $12.08 and Kingsgate tumbled 14 cents or 7.4% $1.83 and Whitehaven Coal up 1 cent to $1.84.

WorleyParsons Limited increased 0.9% after the engineering firm won a construction project contract to develop Kami Iron Ore project in Canada.

David Jones Limited rose 4 cents to $2.87 and Breville Group gained 13 cents to $6.97. Billabong fell 1 cent tot 45.5 cents.

Woolworths slid 8 cents to $35.59. Kathmandu lowered 1 cent to $2.22.

Kathmandu Holdings Limited gained after the outdoors retailer said sales in the third quarter increased 13%.

Harvey Norman jumped 11 cents to $2.90 after the furniture retailer said third quarter sales increased 0.6% to $1.28 billion.

Toll Holdings plunged 24 cents or 4.5% to $5.14, Leighton slumped 26 cents to $19.01 and Mirvac Group down 2 cents to $1.72. Lend Lease slid 4 cents to $10.46.

Westpac slipped 35 cents to $33.55, Commonwealth dropped 2% to $71.06 and National Australia Bank down 0.3% to $33.74 and ANZ rose 0.3% to $31.60.

Macquarie Group surged $4.23 or 10.9% to $43.11 and Wesfarmers fell 15 cents to $42.71.

Nufarm gained 11 cents to $4.12 and Linc Energy added 3 cents to $1.80.

ASX Limited added 16 cents to $37.84.

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