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ACCC rejects NAB bid for AXA Asia Pacific; Shares higher

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Published on: Friday, September 10, 2010

Australian shares closed higher today following gains on Wall Street overnight.

The S&P/ASX 200 put on 45 points, or 0.99 per cent, to 4582.2.

The All Ords was 43 points, or 0.94 per cent, higher to 4621.3.

In news, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said it continues to oppose NAB’s proposed acquisition of AXA Asia Pacific. NAB shares added $0.89, or 3.72 per cent, to $24.84 and AXA Asia Pacific shares dropped $0.36, or 6.62 per cent, to $5.08.

CBA put on $0.71, or 1.37 per cent, to $52.49, Westpac gained $0.28, or 1.23 per cent, to $22.98 and ANZ was $0.27, or 1.15 per cent, higher to $23.76.

Among the major miners, BHP Billiton rose $0.27, or 0.71 per cent, to $38.18 and Rio Tinto put on $0.46, or 0.63 per cent, to $73.90. Fortescue Mining was $0.04, or 0.82 per cent, higher to $4.92.

In energy, Santos announced it has sold 15 per cent interest in GLNG for $650 million to Total. The company now has a 45 per cent interest in GLNG. Shares dropped $0.96, or 6.98 per cent, to $12.79.

Woodside Petroleum was $0.22, or 0.52 per cent, higher to $42.92 and Oil Search rose $0.06, or one per cent, to $5.96.

And among the retailers, Woolworths was $0.02, or 0.07 per cent, higher to $29.06 and Wesfarmers gained $0.55, or 1.66 per cent, to $33.78.

The US Department of Transportation said it proposes to reject an antitrust immunity application made by Delta Air Lines and Virgin Blue for a proposed joint venture on the Trans Pacific route. Virgin Blue said in a statement it will be working with the DOT to respond to concerns raised. Virgin Blue shares fell $0.02, or 3.4 per cent, to $0.43.

In other news, Australia’s unemployment rate fell to 5.1 per cent in August from 5.3 per cent in July. The total number of people employed increased by 30,900. Full-time employment was up 53,100 people and part-time employment increased by 22,100 people. The participation rate fell 0.1 per cent points to 65.4 per cent.

To Asia, and the Nikkei rose 73.8 points, or 0.82 per cent, to 9098.4 and the Hang Seng put on 116 points, or 0.55 per cent, to 21,204.8.

The Australian dollar was buying 92.08 US cents, 59.67 pence Sterling, 72.58 euro cents and 770.3 Japanese yen. 

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