5:00 PM Sydney – Australian stocks opened lower and steadily lost ground in active trading. The Aussie dollar firmed up and traded above 93 U.S. cents. ANZ Banking Group said first-half earnings increased 11% and lifted its dividend. Lynas Corp reaffirmed its annual production outlook.
Australian stocks declined after China’s manufacturing index in April expanded at slower than expected rate.
The purchasing manager’s index of manufacturing index increased to 50.4 in April, slightly below expectations.
Australian dollar closed at 93.04 U.S. cents and stock market trading turnover dropped to 680 million shares worth $5.19 billion.
The ASX 200 index slipped 40.30 or 0.7% to 5,448.80 and the broader All Ordinaries fell 40.40 to 5,430.40.
Stocks in Review
Rio Tinto slipped 91 cents to $60.79. BHP slid 25 cents to $37.50. Woodside Petroleum Limited rose 0.1% to $40.84.
Westpac Banking Corp fell 42 cents to $34.70.
Australia and New Zealand Banking Group
slipped 1.2% to $34.07 after the financial services provider reported net interest income in the first-half ending in March jumped 9% to $6.78 billion from $6.20 billion a year ago.
Profit for the period climbed 15% to $3.38 billion compared to $2.94 billion and diluted earnings per share increased to 120.2 cents from 105.3 cents a year earlier.
rose 0.9% to $1.76 after the real estate developer forecasted operating earnings per share for the year between 11.8 cents and 12 cents and struck an $826 million deal with Blackstone. The company also signed an agreement to sell a 50% stake in 275 Kent Street, Sydney, for $435 million.
Padbury Mining Limited
was halted at 0.033 cents the mineral exploration company forced to abandon its plans to revive the proposed $6.5 billion Oakajee port and rail project. The company failed to meet requests from regulators.