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Market Update

Macquarie to Acquire Crown Castle Australia, ASX Extends Rally

Author: Marcus Jacob
Last Update: 9:16 AM ET May 15 2015

5:30 PM Sydney Australian market indexes increased 0.7% and extended weekly advance to 1.8%. Aussie dollar traded above 80 U.S. cents and prices of crude oil and gold closed higher in volatile trading.

Australian market indexes extended weekly gains despite the renewed weakness in energy prices.

In the week ahead, investors are looking forward to consumer sentiment data and the minutes of latest meeting from the Reserve Bank.

Australian dollar closed at 80.50 U.S. cents and in stock trading turnover declined to 713 million shares worth $5.4 billion.

At close, the ASX 200 Index gained 38.90 or 0.7% to 5,735.50 and the broader All Ordinaries Index rose 37.50 to 5,730.

For the week, ASX 200 jumped 1.5%.

In commodities trading, gold increased US$3 to US$1,218 an ounce and Brent crude edged up 0.02 cents to close at US$66.72 a barrel.

Australian Stock Movers

Atlas Iron Limited halted at 12 cents and the iron ore miner said it will restart production at its three mines in West-Australian by the end of the year.

The company signed an agreement with Abydos and Wodgina mines to produce iron ore of about 9 million tons per year to reduce its breakeven cost to US$50 per ton.

Atlas also plans to raise $14 million.

Aspen Group Limited rose 0.8% to $1.27 after the apartment developer agreed to acquire Ballina Lakeside Holiday Park for about $16.5 million having 83 permanent and 144 short stay sites.

Macquarie Group Ltd gained 1.1% to $82.55 after the investment bank and a consortium agreed to acquire independent communication tower operator Crown Castle Australia Holdings Pty Ltd, a subsidiary of the U.S.-based Crown Castle International Corp for about $2 billion.

The transaction is expected to close during the second-quarter.

PAS Group Ltd surged 37.9% to 60 cents after the apparel retailer forecasted operating profit for the year in the range of $11.3 to $12.8 million more than the $8.7 million reported in the first-half.

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