The benchmark ASX 200 share market index finished a second consecutive week in the red, down 1.2% on 5,899 points, with the market impacted by further weakness in the resources sector.
The iron ore price fell below US$50 a tonne on Wednesday night. The sector has been under pressure since last year as large-scale projects from mining giants such as Rio Tinto (ASX: RIO) and BHP Billiton (ASX: BHP) have come online, increasing supply at the same time demand from China’s steel producers has been slowing.
Smaller iron ore producers sweat as price drops below US$50
Shares in Bradken (ASX: BKN) ended the week up 22.1% to $2.29 after it announced on Friday it had rejected a takeover offer valuing the company at $427m.
In other takeover news, Toll Holdings (ASX: TOL) shares finished the week higher, with Japan Post’s $6.5bn bid at $9.04 a share found to be “fair and reasonable” by an independent expert.
The takeover offer has caused Toll shares to jump approximately 50% in the past three months, making it one of the best performing ASX 200 stocks of the March quarter.
Meanwhile, shares in protective goods manufacturer Ansell (ASX: ANN) and Lend Lease (ASX: LLC) both saw weekly gains after Ansell made a US$88m acquisition, and Lend Lease bought billion dollar real estate in a Singapore joint venture.
QBE Insurance Group (ASX: QBE) shares ended the week down 0.8% to $13.42, despite an increase on Friday when the company held its annual general meeting.