Home World Asia News ASX Closes Lower as Disappointing Earnings Weigh Heavily on Westpac

ASX Closes Lower as Disappointing Earnings Weigh Heavily on Westpac


Australia stock market traded low on May 2 with the benchmark S&P ASX 200 finishing lower by 0.18% at 5,243 points.

Shares in Australia’s third largest lender, Westpac, closed down 3.54% on the Sydney stock market, after having lost as much as 5.7% earlier in the session.

Westpac reported a 3% rise in profits for the six months to March 2016.Australia Stock Exchange 2016

Earnings rose to A$3.9 billion ($2.96 billion), however industry analysts were expecting the figure to come in just above A$4 billion.

Westpac has attributed the shortfall to higher debt charges.

Also in Australia, the country’s Treasurer Scott Morrison will deliver the federal budget for 2016-2017 on May 3. According to local media, there will be tax cuts for business in the budget.

However, ahead of the budget, the country’s central bank – The Reserve Bank of Australia – will hold its annual meeting on interest rates.

The key lending rate in Australia is at a record low of 2%.