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Market Update

Saputo in Lead to Acquire Australian Based WAB, Elders Loss Widens

Author: Marcus Jacob
Last Update: 9:13 AM ET November 18 2013

4:30 PM Sydney – Australian stocks eased and banks led the decliners. The ACCC lost its mortgage price fixing case against ANZ in a federal court that was alleged in 2004. Elders Limited said full-year loss widened. WAB board supported a takeover offer from Canadian suitor.

Australian stocks traded lower on a weakness in bank stocks as investors cashed in the sector. In the afternoon trading, sentiment improved and indexes trimmed losses after positive comments about Chinese reforms lifted hopes for commodities sector.

Australian dollar jumped to 94 U.S. cents. In stock trading, turnover declined to 551 million shares worth $3.13 billion.

The ASX 200 index fell 17 to close at 5,384.70 and the broader All Ordinaries slid 18.30 to 5,377.90.

Stocks in Review

Rio Tinto rose 14 cents to $65.65. BHP added 6 cents to $37.95.

Woodside Petroleum Limited slid 10 cents to $38.45 and the company’s proposal to acquire 30% stake in Israel''s Leviathan field for $1.39 billion is delayed.

Westpac slipped 13 cents to $32.87. Commonwealth Bank of Australia decreased 0.6% to $77.34 and ANZ fell 0.6% to $32.10. NAB increased 0.2% to close at $34.36.

Amcor Limited fell 0.4% to $11.12 and the packaging company agreed to acquire Australia-based privately owned Detmold Flexibles, a flexible packaging company for $50 million.

Downer EDI Limited gained 1.8% to $5.21 after the engineering construction company secured a four-and-a-half year contract with Roy Hill Iron Ore Pty Ltd for the provision of early mining services in the Pilbara valued at approximately $500 million and commence from early 2014.

Elders Limited dropped 4.2% to 11.5 cents after the rural services provider said net loss for the year widened to $505.2 million compared to net loss of $60.6 million a year ago.

Medical Developments International Ltd surged 11.3% to $1.42 after the Australia-based drug and medical and veterinary equipments maker received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to sell its range of space chamber and medical equipments in the United States.

Leighton Holdings Limited slid 4 cents to $16.85 after the engineering construction company sold commercial building in North Sydney for $413 million to Suntec Real Estate Investment Trust.

Warrnambool Cheese & Butter Factory Co jumped 2.1% to $9.29 after the board unanimously recommended the latest takeover offer from Canadian dairy giant Saputo.

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