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Market Update

Weak Australian Retail Sales and Exports Add to Economic Anxieties

Author: Marcus Jacob
Last Update: 1:14 PM ET September 03 2015

5:30 PM Sydney, Australia The latest read on Australian retail sales added to domestic economic anxieties following the weak economic growth data released this week. In addition, trade deficit in July narrowed but core exports of coal and metal ores fell.

Sydney stocks turned lower after the latest retail sales data added to more anxiety following a weak GDP growth this week.

Investors sold stocks on the worries that the economic conditions may not improve in the near future in addition to the growing worries about Chinese economy.

The seasonally adjusted merchandise trade deficit in July narrowed 19% to $2.46 billion compared to deficit of $3.05 billion in June, the Australian Bureau of Statistics reported.

Exports in the month increased 2% to $26.90 billion and import were roughly flat at $29.36 billion.

While headline number improved on the one-time shipment of gold, core exports data painted weaker exports outlook.

Coal exports in the month declined 2.5% and metal ores shipment declined 4.7% in the month.

Separately, the ABS said seasonally adjusted retail sales in July fell 0.1% to $24.31 billion from downwardly revised 0.6% increase in June.

Australian dollar closed at 70.09 U.S. cents and in stock trading turnover fell to 973 million shares worth $6.2 billion.

At close, the ASX 200 Index slumped 73.70 or 1.5% to 5,027.80 and the broader All Ordinaries Index decreased 70.70 to 5,048.70.

In commodities trading, gold dropped US$9 to US$1,133 an ounce and Brent crude future for immediate month delivery slid 35 cents to US$50.15 a barrel.

Australian Stock Movers

Inabox Group Ltd surged 10% to $1.10 after the customer support services provider said revenues in the year ending in June soared 37% from a year ago to $64.3 million but net in the year swung to a loss of $0.4 million compared to $1.1 million in the same period a year ago.

The company forecasted operating profit for the fiscal 2016 of about $5 million.

Kathmandu Holdings Ltd plunged 6.4% to $1.45 after the New Zealand-based outdoor clothing and equipment retailer once again requested its shareholders to reject $318 million take over from its rival Briscoe Group.

Briscoe said it will not improve the offer or extend the period beyond September 17, unless 90% shareholders accept.

Myer Holdings Ltd tumbled 25.6% to 90 cents after the department store operator completed rights issue of about 105 million new shares to raise $221 million priced at 94 cents each at 22% discount to its closing price on Monday.

Additionally, the retailer today announces it may raise $122 million through the retail entitlement offer which will fully sub-underwrite and will be open on September 8 and closed on September 17.

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