7:30 PM Sydney – Australian market indexes opened higher but trimmed gains at close. Vodafone Hutchison Australia, the struggling telecom operator plans to eliminate 500 positions or nearly 10% of its total staff.
Stocks in Sydney traded opened higher but indexes trimmed most of the gains as the session neared the close. Market indexes have been in the consolidation mode in the last two weeks after rallying in the previous three weeks.
The ASX 200 index edged up 4.50 to 4,476.90 and the broader All Ordinaries gained 3.11 to 4,499.37.
Australian dollar closed to $1.0357.
Vodafone Hutchison Australia plans to lay off 500 positions according to company sources as the company battles falling revenues and losses and struggles to improve its network.
The joint venture between the UK based Vodafone and Hong Kong based Hutchison Whampoa has struggled in the last two years as the company faced customer defections. In the six months to June the company lost $131.1 million as revenues fell.
Elders Ltd declined 0.7% to 14.8 cents after the company decided to place its rural services division as a part of its strategy to return capital to shareholders. Analysts estimate between $247 million and $325 million from the asset sale based on previous transactions in the industry between six and nine times operating earnings.
BHP Billiton Limited slid 3 cents to $33.83 and Rio Tinto Limited climbed 47 cents to $56.92. Lynas Corporation Limited up 2 cents to 70.5 cents and Iluka Resources slipped 10 cents to $10.08.
Fortescue Metals down 2 cents to $4.03.
Mirabela Nickel fell 0.5 cents to 46 cents and Newcrest Mining gained 7 cents to $26.23. Kingsgate increased 5 cents to $5.41 and Whitehaven Coal slipped 5 cents to $3.
Transfield Services down 1 cent at $1.61, engineering contractors WorleyParsons decreased 9 cents to $24.58 and Monadelphous Group increased 9 cents to $20.56.
Oil Search Limited advanced 10 cents to $7.46 and Santos Limited slipped 4 cents to $11.48 and Woodside Petroleum gained 5 cents to $34.35. Sundance Energy added 0.5 cent to 78.5 cents.
Origin Energy Limited closed unchanged at $11.33.
Seven West Media up 1 cent to $1.22 and News Corp, the controversial global entertainment group, dropped 14 cents to $23.53.
Harvey Norman Holdings lowered 6 cents to $1.92, Woolworths increased 10 cents to $29.14 and Kathmandu slid 1 cent to $1.46.
David Jones Limited gained 4 cents to $2.62 and Wesfarmers down 2 cents to $34.30. Breville Group added 1 cent to $5.91. Billabong International Limited slipped 1.5 cent to 92 cents.
Commonwealth Bank of Australia slipped 6 cents to $56.79 and Bank of Queensland closed unchanged at $7.52. ANZ closed unchanged at $25.23.
Macquarie Group slumped 13 cents to $30.72 and Perpetual Limited added 1 cent to $27.02.
Toll Holdings gained 1 cent to $4.29, Leighton advanced 14 cents to $18.36 and property developer Mirvac Group closed unchanged at $1.52. Westfield Group increased 10 cents to $10.67.