(Updates to close)
Dec 14 Australian shares ended at a more than
four-month high on Wednesday, underpinned by mergers and
acquisitions activity while traders awaited the outcome of the
U.S. Federal Reserve's rate-setting meeting later in the global
The S&P/ASX 200 index ended up 0.71 percent, or
39.55 points higher, to finish the session at 5,584.6. The index
rose as much as 0.9 percent during the session and ended at its
best level since Aug. 1.
Shares of lottery operator Tatts Group rocketed to
near 10-year highs after a Macquarie Group led
consortium launched a counterbid for Tatts, disrupting the
agreed merger between Tatts and Australia's biggest bookmaker,
Tabcorp Holdings Ltd
Meanwhile, APN Outdoor Group rose to a four-month
high after it revealed plans to buy out rival oOh!Media Ltd
On the downside, energy and basic material stocks suffered
after oil prices fell on the back of a reported rise in U.S.
crude inventories, and on concerns surrounding a planned output
Oil and gas company Santos Ltd ended down 2.9
percent while Oil Search Ltd lost 2.08 percent. Among
large cap miners, shares of BHP Billiton Ltd closed 1.2
percent lower and Rio Tinto Ltd lost 0.5 percent.
New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index ended down
0.76 percent, or 52.35 points, to finish the session at
6,797.86, its lowest closing level in a month.
Entertainment firm SKY Network Television, which
slashed its full-year guidance, was the biggest loser on the
index, ending 10.8 percent lower.
Shares of power generation company Meridian Energy Ltd
ended down 1.9 percent after reporting poor retail
sales volume for November.
(Reporting by Anusha Ravindranath in Bengaluru; Editing by