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Market Update

Australian Stocks Drop, Santos Begins LNG Shipment to Japan

Author: Marcus Jacob
Last Update: 10:01 AM ET May 16 2014

5:00 PM Sydney – Australian stocks struggled and closed at the low of the day. For the week, the ASX 200 gained 0.3%. Santos Limited commenced shipment of liquefied natural gas from its project in Papua New Guinea.

Australian stocks struggled and trading volume in value continue to trend near the low of the year.

Trading volume stayed above the average for a year but in value trailed the peak set in the last quarter of 2013. Banks and three large resource companies dominated trading in Sydney.

Australian dollar dropped to 93.53 U.S. cents and stock market trading turnover dropped to 651 million shares worth $3.5 billion.

The ASX 200 index slipped 31.80 or 0.6% to 5,479 and the broader All Ordinaries fell 31.30 to 5,458.90. For the wee, ASX 200 gained 0.3%.

Stocks in Review

Rio Tinto dropped 86 cents to $61.95. BHP fell 18 cents to $38.08. Woodside Petroleum Limited slipped 0.8% to $41.75.

Westpac Banking Corp decreased 20 cents to $34.28.

GPT Group rose 0.3% to $3.85 after the property developer agreed to acquire 50% interest in 2 Southbank Boulevard in Melbourne for $196.7 million, the final price came in at a 0.5% discount on the asset’s book value.

Goodman Fielder Ltd fell 1.1% to 66.5 cents after the food ingredients maker said it will consider revised $1.37 billion takeover offer from Singapore-based Wilmar International and First Pacific Co.

IOOF Holdings Limited increased 1.5% to $8.25 after the financial advisor agreed to acquire Australia-based SFG Australia (SFW) Ltd. for $670 million or $627 million.

Leighton Holdings Limited slipped 1.7% to $20.55 after the engineering construction company said its subsidiary John Holland has won a $100 million contract to build mine infrastructure for Rio Tinto in Western Australia´s Pilbara region.

The company also settled a shareholder class action lawsuit with 2,400 investors for about $70 million.

Santos Ltd gained 0.3% to $14.34 after the oil and gas producer said that the first cargo worth $20.5 billion of liquefied natural gas from the Papua Guinea LNG project will soon depart for Japan.

The company is loading its first cargo on a tanker with a capacity of 6.3 million cubic feet of gas after four years when the joint venture commenced its work four years ago.

The project managed by Exxon/Mobil will supply energy to customers in China, Japan and Taiwan.

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