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Market Update

5-Year Low in Gold Trims Australian Indexes Gain

Author: Marcus Jacob
Last Update: 11:40 AM ET July 20 2015

5:30 PM Sydney Australian market indexes rebounded but weak commodities prices checked the rise. Precious metals miners edged lower after gold dropped to a new five-year low. DUET Group said it plans to acquire Energy Developments for $1.92 billion, as consolidation picks up in energy sector.

Australian market indexes rebounded but weak commodities priced trimmed gains.

Gold dropped to a new five-year low and ongoing turbulence in China contributed to another day of weakness in commodities prices.

Australian dollar closed at 73.76 U.S. cents and in stock trading turnover fell to 508 million shares worth $3.3 billion.

At close, the ASX 200 Index gained 16.80 or 0.3% to 5,686.90 and the broader All Ordinaries Index rose 16.50 to 5,669.

In commodities trading, gold tumbled US$22 to US$1,113 an ounce and Brent crude slid 14 cents to close at US$56.96 a barrel.

Australian Stock Movers

AWE Limited plunged 9.5% to $1.28 after the oil and gas explorer forecasted non-cash impairment charge for the BassGas asset between $100 million and $110 million after-tax for the full-year.

DUET Group was halted at $2.38 the diversified utility and energy group plans to acquire gas and clean energy provider Energy Developments Limited for $1.92 billion, 3.6% premium to closing price of July 17.

The Energy Developments board agreed to $8 per share cash offer from Duet and recommended its shareholders to vote in favour of the scheme.

Separately, Duet also plans to raise as much as $1.67 billion to finance the cash bid.

Newcrest Mining Limited tumbled 10.1% to $11.87 after the price of gold plummeted to a new five-year low to US$1,113 today.

Separately, the gold producer said its operations at Hidden Valley mine in Papua New Guinea are temporarily halted after a worker died.

Sonic Healthcare Limited dropped 2.8% to $21.25 after the medical diagnostic services provider forecasted operating profit for the year of about $730 million, 4% lower than the earlier guidance.

Sonic estimated operating profit for the fiscal 2016 to soar 20% in the range of $850 million to $875 million.

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