5:30 PM Sydney – Australian market indexes dropped 1.3% following Asia-wide decline. Investors sold stocks following a market selloff in New York on the growing speculation that the U.S. Fed will lift rates from near zero sooner than expected. Tabcorp completed its $236 million public offering.
Australian market indexes and the Aussie dollar dropped following a sharp market selloff in New York.
The sooner than expected increase in interest rates in the U.S. worried most investors. However, the rates have been near low for more than five years after the Federal Reserve pumped up money printing and flooded the financial system with $4 trillion.
In addition, investors in New York worried that the recent 11-year low euro against the dollar will crimp earnings at most multi-national companies adding to the woes of energy companies’ earnings on the sharp fall in oil prices.
Seasonally adjusted total number of job advertisement in February jumped 0.9% to 143,484 from the 1.2% downwardly revised increase in January. The job ads increased for the ninths month in a row on ads increase on the internet and in newspapers.
Compared to a year ago period, the number of job ads rose 9.8%.
Australian dollar closed at 76.94 U.S. cents and in stock trading turnover rose to 783 million shares worth $4.5 billion.
ASX 200 Index declined 77.60 or 1.3% to 5,821.30 and broader All Ordinaries Index dropped 75.60 to 5,793.
In commodities trading, gold slumped US$29 to US$1,171 an ounce and light crude oil slipped US$1.15 to US$49.61 a barrel.
Brent crude rose 34 cents to close at US$60.82 a barrel.
Spring FG Limited
surged 43.3% to 43 cents after the financial services provider started trading at 30 cents and a closed at 43 cents.
Australian Stock Movers
rose 0.4% to $42.50 after the stock exchange operator agreed to reduce its minimum fees of up to 14.2% on clearing trades for cash equities that was scheduled to apply from July 1.
The lowered fees will reduce revenues by $6.8 million per year if the current clearing monopoly is extended for five years.
AGL Energy Ltd
dropped 2.2% to $14.73 after the gas and electricity producer divested its gas exploration license for coal seam gas in New South Wales Central Coast to the state government. The company agreed to hand over exploration licenses that are not commercially viable.
declined 3.7% to $7.55 after the oil and gas explorer signed an agreement to supply natural gas to Australian subsidiary of Alcoa Inc for a five-year period starting from 2018.
Tabcorp Holdings Ltd
closed unchanged at $4.62 after the diversified entertainment company completed the $236 million public offering and priced its shares at $4.52 each.