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Market Update

Australian Trade Narrows But Ahead of Expectations, Dollar Eases

Author: Marcus Jacob
Last Update: 8:38 AM ET July 02 2015

5:30 PM Sydney Australian dollar traded down after the June month trade deficit narrowed but stayed ahead of expectations. Stocks gained and the ASX 200 index jumped 1.5%. Pacific Brands soared after the retailer estimated higher annual operating profit.

Australian market indexes closed higher and June month trade deficit narrowed but was ahead of expectations.

The seasonally adjusted trade deficit in May narrowed to $2.75 billion from downwardly revised $4.14 billion deficit in April but higher than $1.54 billion in March, the Australian Bureau of Statistics reported today.

In May, export increased 1% to $25.53 billion from $25.32 billion in April while import in the month dropped 4% to $28.28 billion compared to $29.46 billion in April.

Australian dollar closed at 76.39 U.S. cents and in stock trading turnover increased to 803 million shares worth $5.2 billion.

At close, the ASX 200 Index jumped 84.10 or 1.5% to 5,599.80 and the broader All Ordinaries Index gained 81.90 to 5,587.90.

In commodities trading, gold fell US$9 to US$1,165 an ounce and Brent crude rose 0.41 cents to close at US$62.42 a barrel.

Australian Stock Movers

Alliance Resources Limited surged 54.3% to 12.5 cents after the copper-gold and base metals explorer received revised offer of $71.3 million from Quasar Resources PTY Limited for its interest in the Four Mile Uranium project.

Earlier the company had rejected $57.6 million offer.

Affinity Education Group Ltd tumbled 34.2% to 54 cents after the education services provider forecasted operating profit for the year ending in December between $27 million to $32 million, lower than previous estimate of $35.5 million.

Challenger Ltd jumped 2.7% to $6.97 after the investment company said it divested its 25% stake in global fixed income fund manager Kapstream Capital Pty Ltd to Janus Capital Group for $45 million.

Kathmandu Holdings Ltd closed unchanged at $1.52 after the outdoor apparel and equipment retailer requested shareholders to wait for the board response before taking an action to an offer from New Zealand-based retailer Briscoe Group.

Pacific Brands Limited soared 50.1% to 49 cents after the clothing retailer forecasted operating profit for the year ending in June in the range of $63 million to $65 million from an earlier guidance between $57.4 million and $63 million.

The company added sales for the year to climb approx 5%.

TFS Corporation Limited declined 5.7% to $1.50 after the sandalwood plantation operator reiterated its earnings outlook but forecasted net profit for the year of at least $90 million.

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