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Market Update

Australian Stock Trading Volume Jumps; Wesfarmers, Crown Resorts in Focus


Author: Marcus Jacob
ticker.com
Last Update: 9:54 AM ET February 19 2015

5:30 PM Sydney – Australian market indexes declined and trading volume jumped to the high in the year-so-far. Aussie dollar inched towards 78 U.S. cents but prices of iron ore and oil edged lower. Wesfarmers Ltd first-half net declined and Crown Resorts reported better-than-expected results.

Stocks in Sydney traded down and investors looked overseas and focused on the U.S. Federal Reserve’s policy statement.

Policymakers in the statement worried that the recent rise in the U.S. dollar may impact exports but also estimated rates to remain low in the near future.

Australian dollar closed at 77.99 U.S. cents and in stock trading turnover slipped to 869 million shares worth $5.8 billion.

ASX 200 Index fell 11.50 or 0.2% to 5,904.20 and broader All Ordinaries Index slid 8.10 to 5,869.80.

In commodities trading, gold dropped US$12 to US$1,216 an ounce and light crude oil slumped $1.47 to US$52.82 a barrel.

Brent crude declined US$1.04 to close at US$59.49 a barrel.

Australian Stock Movers

Crown Resorts Ltd surged 9.8% to $15.88 after the gaming and entertainment service provider reported revenues in the first-half ending in December jumped 9.2% to $1.71 billion from $1.56 billion a year ago period.

Net profit in the period tumbled 47.4% to $201.06 million compared to $382.45 million and diluted earnings per share declined to 27.70 cents from 52.51 cents in the same period a year ago.

Metals X Limited gained 1.2% to $1.26 after the metals and mineral explorer said revenues in the first-half ending in December surged 105.3% to $149.28 million from $72.70 million a year ago period.

Net profit in the period climbed 72.7% to $15.91 million compared to $9.21 million and diluted earnings per share jumped to 3.84 cents from 2.23 cents in the same period a year ago.

Seven West Media Ltd jumped 2.1% to $1.45 after the broadcasting and publishing company reported revenues in the first-half ending in December fell 3.3% to $933.86 million from $966.26 million a year ago period.

Net in the period swung to a loss of $995.5 million compared to profit of $151.2 million and diluted loss per share swung to a 79.6 cents from earnings per share of 13.2 cents in the same period a year ago.

Tatts Group Limited dropped 2.3% to $3.78 after the gambling service provider said revenues in the first-half ending in December increased 1.3% to $1.51 billion from $1.49 billion a year ago period.

Net profit in the period soared 14.6% to $139.80 million compared to $122 million and diluted earnings per share rose to 9.7 cents from 8.6 cents in the same period a year ago.

Wesfarmers Ltd slipped 1.5% to $45.18 after the department store operator reported revenues in the first-half ending in December climbed 4% to $31.97 billion from $30.74 billion a year ago period.

Net profit in the period declined 3.5% to $1.38 billion compared to $1.43 billion and diluted earnings per share decreased to 120.7 cents from 123.9 cents in the same period a year ago.

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