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Market Update

Australian Indexes Struggle, Brambles Acquires Chilean Company

Author: Marcus Jacob
Last Update: 10:54 AM ET May 20 2015

5:30 PM Sydney Australian market indexes trimmed losses in moderate trading and banks led the decliners. Cardno Limited, the environmental consultant plunged 27% after $200 million write down. Brambles Ltd acquired Chile based crate pooling services provider for $80 million.

Australian market indexes opened lower and by the close trimmed most of the losses and the Aussie dollar held firm.

Australian dollar closed at 79.13 U.S. cents and in stock trading turnover slipped to 840 million shares worth $5.7 billion.

At close, the ASX 200 Index slid 5.20 to 5,610.30 and the broader All Ordinaries Index fell 5.40 to 5,614.

In commodities trading, gold declined US$16 to US$1,206 an ounce and Brent crude rose 0.35 cents to close at US$64.37 a barrel.

Australian Stock Movers

Brambles Limited gained 0.5% to $10.91 after the logistics company agreed to acquire Chile-based privately owned reusable plastic crate pooling services provider Renta Pack S.A. for 38 billion Chilean pesos or $79.5 million.

Cardno Limited tumbled 27.3% to $2.50 after the infrastructure and environmental services provider forecasted operating profit for the second-half to be between $16.5 million and $19.5 million.

Cardno said net profit to drop in the range of $48 million to $51 million compared to reported net profit of $78.1 million in the same period a year ago.

The company announced it will write-down about $200 million in its U.S. and Ecuadorian investments due to harsh winter in the Northeastern United States and weak demand in oil and gas services globally.

Graincorp Ltd rose 0.3% to $9.53 after the agriculture products maker plans to invest $50 million to increase oil seed crushing capacity by about by 40%, to 1,000 tons per day at its Numurkah facility in Victoria and estimated annual incremental benefit of about $10 million.

Liquefied Natural Gas Ltd declined 4.9% to $4.42 after the liquefied natural gas producer plans to raise $174 million through a stock offering of 40 million shares at $4.35 each.

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