ASX Ltd. (ASX), operator of Australia’s main stock exchange, reported a 2.9 percent drop in profit through the end of March as stock trading waned in the first nine months of the fiscal year.
Statutory profit after tax fell to A$256.3 million ($264.2 million) in the nine months through March 31 from a year earlier, the company said in a statement today. Operating revenue dropped 1.4 percent to A$454.2 million and cash operating expenses rose 4.3 percent to A$104.8 million.
“Equity markets have experienced significantly reduced trading activity compared to a year ago when market conditions were more favorable,” ASX Chief Executive Officer Elmer Funke Kupper said in the statement. “Despite some signs of improvement in the U.S. and continued economic growth in Asia, the euro zone continues to struggle economically and politically. Investors respond cautiously to the continued economic uncertainty as a consequence.”
ASX shares lost 2.9 percent to A$31.30 as of 10:07 a.m. in Sydney, the most since August.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index climbed 9.4 percent this year through yesterday amid signs that Chinese and U.S. economic growth is intact and as Europe’s sovereign-debt crisis abates.
Derivatives, ASX’s largest business, grew 9.1 percent in the period, according to the statement.
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