Afternoon Market Report (17:00 AEDT)
Local stocks have ended the week with an emphatic improvement .The ASX 200 ended the session at the best levels of the day. Participation from investors remained at healthy levels with close to $5 billion in shares exchanged. In a week that has been replete with economic news from the world's economically important regions, in addition to a landslide of company results locally, the ASX 200 has risen by 3.5%. Every sector finished the session with solid gains led by the healthcare and consumer discretionary sectors.
Waste management group Transpacific Industries (TPI) the owner of Cleanaway, reported a profit of $159 million in the six months to December 31. Compared to $32.3 million in the same period a year earlier. The result reflected the sale of its commercial vehicles business for $122million. However the underlying result was weaker, with earnings falling by 8%. The company is closing underperforming units in an effort to cut $20 million in costs out of the business. Earnings from waste management were steady. The group expects trading conditions to remain static into the second half of the year.TPI shares were up 2 cents at $3.66
Property landlord Charter Hall Retail (CQR) announced a 30.4 per cent jump in half year profit. The majority of the trust group´s portfolio consists of Australian shopping centres. The REIT recorded a profit of $20.6 million in the six months to December 31, compared to $15.8 million for the same period in 2012. The sale of its Polish and USA properties and the acquisition of investment properties in Australia also boosted its earnings. CQR bought three supermarket anchored shopping centres in Western Australia, South Australia and Victoria for $193.2 million. The trust has reaffirmed its 2014 guidance for operating earnings, at between 29.5 and 30 cents per unit, excluding its German operations, which are being prepared for sale. CQR shares rose by two cents to $3.66.
The $AUD remained firm during the Asian session recouping losses following Thursdays jobs data. The recovery mainly reflects a heavy USD.A stronger than expected Chinese CPI reading saw the local currency improve. The Chinese CPI for January rose 2.5%YoY, ahead of the 2.4% consensus. Assistant RBA Governor Chris Kent delivered a speech titled The Resources Boom and the Australian Dollar early in the session, with limited response from markets.
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