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BlueScope Declines on First-Half Profit Outlook: Sydney Mover

BlueScope Steel Ltd., Australia’s largest steelmaker, fell the most in more than 18 months in Sydney trading after forecasting profit this half isn’t expected to beat the preceding six months.

The Melbourne-based producer fell 14 percent to A$4.70, the most since Nov. 24, 2011. Australia’s benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index was little changed.

BlueScope reported today in a statement that its net loss for fiscal 2013 narrowed to A$84.1 million ($77.5 million), from a loss of A$1 billion a year earlier, when it took one-time charges for the restructuring of its Australian business. While the company expected to book a profit this half, it cited uncertainty in domestic demand for forecasting lower earnings than last half.

“That one off-the-cuff line” is not instilling confidence in the market, said Evan Lucas, a Melbourne-based market strategist at IG Markets Ltd.

Margins may improve if the Australian dollar continues to drop, the company said. The local dollar has declined 11 percent this year, the most among the Group of 10 major developed-market currencies, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. A change of one U.S. cent in the value of the Australian dollar has an impact on earnings before interest and tax of as much as A$2 million, the company said today in a presentation to investors.

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