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Market Update

Home Price Rise Worries Reserve Bank of Australia, Fortescue Sales Plunge


Author: Marcus Jacob
ticker.com
Last Update: 8:47 AM ET February 17 2015

5:30 PM Sydney Reserve Bank of Australia indicated in its latest minute of meetings that the rate cut was warranted on the weaker than expected economic growth. ANZ reported flat quarterly profit. Coca-Cola Amatil annual revenues declined. Fortescue first-half revenues plunged 17%.

Australian stocks closed down as investors looked for clues of the future direction of interest rate.

Reserve Bank of Australia in its latest minutes of meetings focused on the weaker than expected economic growth and highlighted the development in the housing market.

The central bank stopped short of calling the recent price surge a bubble but noted that the bank will closely watch the sector but failed to list the next policy steps to arrest the price rise.

The RBA also repeated its usual statement and indicated that the Aussie dollar may weaken reflecting the slowing demand and prices for the Australian exports.

Australian dollar closed at 78.01 U.S. cents and in stock trading turnover slid to 713 million shares worth $5.53 billion.

ASX 200 Index slipped 30.50 or 0.5% to 5,858.20 and broader All Ordinaries Index fell 27.20 to 5,822.30.

In commodities trading, gold dropped US$5 to US$1,228 an ounce and light crude oil decreased 12 cents to US$53.55 a barrel.

Brent crude increased US$0.70 to close at US$62.10 a barrel.

Australian Stock Movers

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group ANZ dropped 2.5% to $34.99 after the financial service provider reported unaudited net profit in the first-quarter ending in December was flat at $1.65 billion from a year ago but declined 26% to $2.23 billion in previous quarter.

The bank said net profit in the quarter from New Zealand jumped 8% to NZ$425 million from a year ago.

Coca-Cola Amatil Ltd soared 6.3% to $10.61 after the alcohol-free beverage and other drink maker said total revenues in the year ending in December fell 1.7% to $4.94 billion from $5.04 a year ago period.

Net profit in the year surged 240.6% to $272.1 million compared to $79.9 million and diluted earnings per share climbed to 35.6 cents from 10.5 cents in the same period a year ago.

Dick Smith Holdings Ltd plunged 6.7% to $2.10 after the consumer electronic retailer reported revenues in the first-half ending in December jumped 8.9% to $693.8 million form $637 million a year ago period.

Net in the period swung to profit $25.2 million compared to a net loss of $4.92 million and diluted earnings per share swung to 11 cents from a loss per share of 2 cents in the same period a year ago.

Fortescue Metals Group Limited declined 4.9% to $2.55 after the iron ore producer said revenues in the first-half ending in December plummeted 17.2% to $4.86 billion form $5.87 billion a year ago period.

Profit in the period tumbled 80.7% to $331 million compared to $1.72 billion and diluted earnings per share dropped to 10.62 cents from 55.01 cents in the same period a year ago.

Mount Gibson Iron Limited slumped 6.3% to 22.5 cents after the mining and shipment company stated total sales revenues in the first-half ending in December plunged 62% to $196.1 million from $516.9 million a year ago period.

Net in the period swung to a net loss of $869.8 million compared to profit of $78.30 million and diluted loss per share swung to a 79.74 cents from earnings per share of 7.18 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