(Updates to close)
Feb 20 Australian shares ended lower on Monday,
dragged down by basic materials and consumer stocks, with
Brambles Ltd plummeting after it forecast a flat
full-year underlying profit.
The S&P/ASX 200 index ended down 0.2 percent, or
10.72 points, at 5,805.8. The benchmark fell 0.2 percent on
Australian pallets and container group Brambles dropped as
much as 11.2 percent to its lowest since October 2014, after it
said that its profit for the year ending June 30 was expected to
be flat. It ended down 10 percent.
The biggest drag on the benchmark index, WorleyParsons
, fell as much as 21.8 percent, its biggest percentage
loss since Nov. 20, 2013 after it posted its first interim net
The energy index fell as much as 1.7 percent and
ended down for a fifth straight session, with oil major Santos
losing 1.5 percent.
Consumer cyclicals also took a hit after supermarket
operator Wesfarmers, which went ex-dividend, fell 2.20
The mining index fell as much as 0.7 percent, with
BHP Billiton Ltd losing 0.6 percent while, South32
declined 1.9 percent.
On the other hand, the benchmark financial index
rose as much as 0.3 percent, its highest in over a month.
Three out of the four "Big Four" banks ended higher by a
range of 0.4-0.7 percent. National Australia Bank lost
New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index edged up
0.1 percent, or 5.97 points, to finish the session at 7,093.53.
The gains on the index was supported by financials and
The biggest gainer was Auckland International Airport
, rising as much as 2.3 percent, its biggest percentage
gain since Jan. 4. Stock exchange operator NZX Ltd
added 0.9 percent.
(Reporting by Sandhya Sampath in Bengaluru; Editing by Kim