3:00AM New York, 7:00PM Sydney - Australia’s consumer sentiment drops 2.5% in November. AMP urges Axa Asia Pacific Holdings to reconsider A$11 billion bid. ACCC approves Woolworths’ takeover of Danks. The Aussie dollar trades near the high of the year.
Australian stocks rose 0.5% despite consumer sentiment falling in November, according to a private report.
trading ASX 200 Index rose 0.5% or 23.4 to 4, 757.00.
Of the ASX 200 index stocks, 102 gained, 82 fell, and 16 were unchanged. Lynas Corp. led advancers in the ASX 200 index stocks with a rise of 11.6% followed by Mirvac Group gaining 6.8%.
The Aussie fell 0.1% to U.S. 92.99 cents.
Consumer Sentiment Declines 2.5%
The Westpac-Melbourne Institute index of consumer sentiment dropped 2.5% to 118.3 in November from 121.4 the previous month.
All components of the index fell, with the index of family financing dropping 4%, economic conditions over the next 12 months 2.5%, economic conditions over the next five years 3.7%, good time to buy major household items 1.2% and family finances compared with a year ago 0.7%.
The current conditions index declined 1%.
Petrol prices rose 2.3% and shares prices plunged 3.3% further affecting sentiment.
Westpac chief economist Bill Evans said, “Given that this fall comes after the second successive increase in the Reserve Bank overnight cash rate and associated increases in variable mortgage rates it has to be classified as a modest response.”
Westpac bets the Reserve Bank of Australia will hike its key rate by 25 basis points when it meets on December 1.
AMP Urges Axa Asia to Reconsider A$11 billion Bid
AMP Ltd. chief executive officer Craig Dunn told ABC Radio today Axa Asia Pacific Holdings to reconsider its rejection of the A$11 billion bid for the company on the back of a 9.5% gain in the company’s stock since Monday.
Australia biggest asset manager’s bid is a cash and equity offer.
“That premium has gone higher as the AMP stock price has gone higher over the last couple of days; in our view that warrants serious consideration by the independent directors,” said Dunn.
ACCC Approves Woolworths’ Danks Takeover
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has approved the acquisition of Danks Holdings Ltd. And its joint venture U.S. partner Lowe’s.
According to ACCC, the acquisition will not “result in a substantial lessening of competition.”
Woolworth’s and Lowe’s plan to create “big box” home improvement stores that are dominant in the hardware sector.
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