Australia: Shares end lower; NZ up slightly

[BENGALURU] Australian shares ended lower on Monday, dragged down by basic materials and consumer stocks, with Brambles plummeting after it forecast a flat full-year underlying profit.

The S&P/ASX 200 index ended down 0.2 per cent, or 10.72 points, at 5,805.8. The benchmark fell 0.2 per cent on Friday.

Australian pallets and container group Brambles dropped as much as 11.2 per cent 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 per cent.

The biggest drag on the benchmark index, WorleyParsons , fell as much as 21.8 per cent, its biggest percentage loss since Nov 20, 2013 after it posted its first interim net loss.

The energy index fell as much as 1.7 per cent and ended down for a fifth straight session, with oil major Santos losing 1.5 per cent.

Consumer cyclicals also took a hit after supermarket operator Wesfarmers, which went ex-dividend, fell 2.20 per cent.

The mining index fell as much as 0.7 per cent, with BHP Billiton losing 0.6 per cent while, South32 declined 1.9 per cent.

On the other hand, the benchmark financial index rose as much as 0.3 per cent, its highest in over a month.

Three out of the four "Big Four" banks ended higher by a range of 0.4-0.7 per cent. National Australia Bank lost marginally.

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index edged up 0.1 per cent, or 5.97 points, to finish the session at 7,093.53.

The gains on the index was supported by financials and industrial stocks.

The biggest gainer was Auckland International Airport , rising as much as 2.3 per cent, its biggest percentage gain since Jan 4. Stock exchange operator NZX added 0.9 per cent.


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