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Market Update

Australian Markets Struggle, Billabong Plunges 27%

Author: Marcus Jacob
Last Update: 8:56 AM ET April 10 2013

6:30 PM Sydney – Australian market indexes struggled to gain as consumer sentiment index declined in April. Billabong plunged 27% after it received a significantly lower than expected bid. Bank of Queensland agreed to acquire Virgin Money Australian for $40 million.

Australian market indexes opened lower and struggled to stay in the positive territory.

The ASX 200 index fell 8.80 to 4,968 and the broader All Ordinaries slid 6.50 to 4,973.70. Miners led the gainers and banks were in focus.

Australian dollar closed down to $1.051 and in stock trading, turnover increased to 893 million shares worth $4.6 billion.

China’s exports increased 10% and imports rose 14.1% in March, according to the data released by the General Administration and Customs.

Separately a private measure of consumer confidence showed a decline in April after rising to a 2-year high in March.

The Westpac Banking Corp and Melbourne Institute Index of consumer sentiment declined 5.1 % to 104.9 in April. Any read above 100 indicates optimism.

Stock Movers

Sundance Resources plunged 9.1% after the company confirmed its takeover from China based Hanlong Mining has collapsed.

Rio Tinto climbed $1.55 to $58.28 and BHP jumped 57 cents to $33.68. Fortescue Metals Group increased 14 cent to $3.98.

Woodside Petroleum slipped 44 cents to $35.20 and Santos slid 1 cent to $12.28.

Newcrest Mining gained 26 cents to $19.75, Kingsgate increased 12 cents to $3.80 and Whitehaven Coal rose 7 cents to $2.16.

Leighton Holdings Limited said its order book will shrink $260 million after BHP and Mitsubishi venture terminated contract ahead of schedule.

Billabong plunged after the company said it is in negotiation with its former U.S. chief Paul Naude and a private equity group that offered 60 cents a share, significantly lower than the previous bid of $1.10 a share.

David Jones Limited lowered 4 cents to $2.84 and Breville Group up 10 cents to $6.45. Billabong tumbled 19.5 cents or 26.7% to 53.5 cents and Globe International closed unchanged at 41 cents.

Woolworths dropped 36 cents to $33.89. Kathmandu added 2 cents to $1.98.

Toll Holdings rose 1 cent to $5.82, Leighton fell 11 to $19.98 and Mirvac Group closed unchanged at $1.63. Lend Lease slid 8 cents to $10.48.

Bank of Queensland Limited agreed to acquire Virgin Money Australia for $40 million.

Westpac dropped 37 cents to $30.93, Commonwealth slipped 0.9% to $67.30 and National Australia Bank fell 0.7% to $31.20 and ANZ down 23 cents to $28.25.

Macquarie Group gained 28 cents to $37.39 and Wesfarmers slid 37 cents to $40.12.

Nufarm rose 2 cents to $4.37. Linc Energy slumped 7 cents to $2.01.

Telstra Corp signed three contracts with Service Stream Limited worth $135 million.

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