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Market Update

Australian Stocks Advance, Dollar at New Yearly Low

Author: Marcus Jacob
Last Update: 8:22 AM ET February 27 2013

6:30 PM Sydney Australian indexes gained higher and the dollar declined to a new low in the year. Resource companies and banks led the gainers. Investors appeared cautious for the current year earnings after corporations met or exceeded expectations in the current earnings season.

Australian stocks steadily built an advance and market indexes gained after earnings season neared the end.

Investors looked overseas and Fed Chairman Bernanke defended stimulus program and a large expansion in the balance sheet.

The ASX 200 index advanced 33 or 0.7% to 5,036.60 and the broader All Ordinaries increased 31.30 to 5,053.10.

The Australian dollar declined to $1.019.

Stock Movers

Cyclone Rusty is close to making a landfall in Western Australia and most of the iron ore shipping from the region is brought to a halt.

Rio Tinto jumped 44 cents to $66.01 and BHP climbed 34 cents to $36.69. Lend Lease slid 1 cent to $10.64. Fortescue Metals Group fell 1 cent to $4.60.

Woodside Petroleum decreased 14 cents to $36.20 and Santos jumped 46 cents to $13.13.

Westpac fell 0.1%, Commonwealth rose 0.8% and National Australian Bank added 0.3% to $30.03 and ANZ gained 0.4% to $28.28.

QBE climbed 43 cents to $13.18 after the insurer reported 8% increase in full-year profit and reiterated its plan to eliminate 700 jobs.

Billabong, the surfwear retailer added 0.5 cents to 86 cents.

Flight Center advanced for the second day by 1.3% to $31.90 after the tour and flight package seller reported record first half profit of $91.8 million, 13% increase from the previous year.

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