5:30 PM Sydney, Australia – Australian indexes closed down and prices of crude oil and gold extended recent losses. Aussie dollar weakened further after traders look for the currency to continue to slide in the next six months. UGL Limited won a 4-year contract to provide a range of services including a tunnel construction.
Australian markets traded lower in light trading and the Aussie dollar continued to slide as currencies of emerging markets and resource linked nations declined for the second month in a row.
Australian dollar closed at 69.23 U.S. cents and in stock trading turnover declined to 690 million shares worth $4.5 billion.
At close, the ASX 200 Index slid 10.20 or 0.2% to 5,030.40 and the broader All Ordinaries Index decreased 9.80 to 5,051.
In commodities trading, gold fell US$2 to US$1,124 an ounce and Brent crude future for immediate month delivery slid 36 cents to US$49.25 a barrel.
Australian Stock Movers
AGL Energy Ltd
fell 0.6% to $16.02 after the gas and electricity producer agreed to divest 50% stake in Macarthur Wind Farm, the largest wind farm in Australia, for $368.4 million to New Zealand-based investment firm HRL Morrison & Co Ltd.
The company said the sale is part of its $1 billion asset divestments plan by the end of fiscal 2017.
slumped 2.1% to $1.16 after Sigdo Koppers and Champ Private Equity terminated merger discussion that involved the engineering company.
gained 1.1% to $1.85 after the engineering services provider secured a contract worth about $3 billion to construct and maintain 9 kilometre long tunnel linking M1 Pacific Highway at Wahroonga to the Hills M2 Motorway at Pennant Hills in North Sydney.
Westpac Banking Corp
slid 0.5% to $29.80 after the banking and financial services provider’s newly appointed chief executive officer Brian Hartzer said the bank plans to add more than one million customers in the next two years and increase investment spending by 20% to $1.3 billion per year.