5:30 PM Sydney, Australia – Australian market indexes struggled to hold on to the higher opening and closed down. Bank of Queensland priced its $550 million floating rate loan at 115 basis points premium to 3-month bank bill swap rate. Ten Network Holdings reported annual net loss of $312 million.
Australian market indexes opened higher and steadily declined in the session to close down in thin trading.
Australian dollar closed at 72.56 U.S. cents and in stock trading turnover declined to 593 million shares worth $3.9 billion.
At close, the ASX 200 Index fell 3.60 to 5,348 and the broader All Ordinaries Index edged down 1.80 to 5,386.30.
In commodities trading, gold slid US$3 to US$1,166 an ounce and Brent crude future for immediate month delivery edged down 0.03 cents to US$47.96 a barrel.
Australian Stock Movers
BlueScope Steel Limited
surged 10.6% to $4.50 after the steel producer agreed to acquire Cargill’s 50% stake in North Star BlueScope Steel LLC, Ohio in the U.S. for about US$720 million.
The company lifted profit forecast for the half-year ending in December to soar 40% to $50 million.
Separately, the New South Wales government grant tax break of $60 million in payroll taxes for the next three years, plus $60 million in annual savings from 500 job cuts, to keep the Port Kembla steel plant in operation.
Sonic Healthcare Limited
slipped 0.5% to $18.68 after Bloomberg News reported diagnostic services provider intends to acquire Switzerland-based rival Unilabs SA for about $2.3 billion or €1.5 billion.
Ten Network Holdings Limited
was halted at 19 cents after the free-to-air television services provider said revenues in the year ending in August jumped 4.5% from a year ago to $654.1 million.
Net loss in the year widened to $312.2 million compared to $168.3 million and diluted loss per share to 12.07 cents from 6.51 cents in the same period a year ago.
The company sold approx 15% stake in Foxtel at an offer price of 15 cents per share to raise up to $154 million.
Ten Networks said its debt in two years has jumped almost five-fold to $131.5 million.