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Market Update

Sixth Day of Sell-off in Australia, Westpac Annual Net Rises 3%


Author: Marcus Jacob
ticker.com
Last Update: 2:00 PM ET November 02 2015

5:30 PM Sydney, Australia ASX 200 index in Australia closed down for the sixth day in a row in thin trading ahead of the rate decision from the Reserve Bank of Australia tomorrow. REA Group agreed to acquire iProperty in all cash offer for $4 a share. Westpac Banking Corp said annual net increased 3% to $7.8 billion.

The benchmark ASX 200 index declined for the sixth day in a row after two manufacturing surveys in China pointed to ongoing weakness and investors were nervous ahead of the RBA rate decision tomorrow.

The seasonally adjusted total number of building approvals in September jumped 2.2% to 18,900 followed by the downwardly revised 9.5% decline in August, the Australian Bureau of Statistics reported.

From a year ago, total building approvals surged 21.4% from 5.1% jump in the previous month.

Australian dollar ease to 71.37 U.S. cents and in stock trading turnover slid to 639 million shares worth $4.7 billion.

At close, the ASX 200 Index slumped 73.60 or 1.4% to 5,165.80 and the broader All Ordinaries Index dropped 67.30 to 5,221.30.

In commodities trading, gold plunged US$19 to US$1,141 an ounce and Brent crude future for immediate month delivery fell 68 cents to US$48.88 a barrel.

Australian Stock Movers

Auckland International Airport Limited, the New Zealand-focused airport operator plans to raise NZ$100 million through a bond offering of seven year maturity to domestic retail and institutional investors at an issue price of NZ$5.0189 per share and the offering will close on November 4.

Westpac Banking Corp slipped 2.5% to $30.61 after the financial services provider reported net interest income in the year ending in September was flat from a year ago to $32.30 billion.

Net profit in the year soared 6% to $8.01 billion compared to $7.56 billion and diluted earnings per share increased to 249.3 cents from 238.7 cents I the same period a year ago.

Westpac said total lending in the year jumped 7% mainly due to home and personal loans increase of 5% and business lending surge of 6%, while loan impairment charges surged 16%.

REA Group Limited gained 1.8% to $48.87 after the online property adviser launched a $750 million takeover offer for either $4 cash, a 20% premium of October 30 or $1.20 cash and 0.7 shares to its smaller rival Malaysia-based iProperty Group Ltd.

iProperty Group Ltd stock jumped 9.4% to $3.84.

Seymour Whyte Ltd plunged 8.5% to $1.19 after the engineering and construction group secured a contract worth about $41.3 million to upgrade the Pacific Highway at Tuggerah on the New South Wales Central Coast.

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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