SYDNEY, AAP – Miners BHP and Rio Tinto were making acquisition news on the ASX for different reasons as the market eased lower.
BHP will not match an offer for Canadian miner Noront Resources while Rio Tinto is buying a lithium mine to bolster its battery materials business.
The Andrew Forrest-backed Wyloo Metals has trumped BHP for Canadian miner Noront Resources.
The Noront board said the Wyloo offer of $C1.10 (about $A1.19) was superior.
BHP shares were lower by 0.67 per cent to $41.43.
Rio Tinto is buying the Rincon lithium project in Argentina which it said could produce battery grade lithium carbonate.
The miner will pay $825 million to private equity group Sentient Equity Partners.
Shares were down 1.79 per cent to $99.59.
Most share categories lost less than one per cent including the heavyweight financials.
Technology shares were best after Amazon and Microsoft shares helped Wall Street close higher.
Afterpay was up about five per cent to $87.18.
The oil price was steady even though Germany became the latest European country to limit gatherings.
Rising coronavirus infections in many western nations have prompted leaders to consider reintroducing measures.
The steady oil price helped energy shares be the second best category on the market.
Santos rose about one and a half per cent to $6.25.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 19 points, or 0.26 per cent, to 7336 points at 1200 AEDT on Wednesday.
The All Ordinaries was lower by 14.2 points, or 0.19 per cent, to 7652.5 points.
The big four banks were each lower by less than one per cent.
Engineering group CIMIC is part of a joint venture which has won a $1.8 billion contract for the Western Sydney Airport.
Subsidiary CPB Contractors and Ghella will design and dig tunnels for the train line to the airport.
Shares were down 0.18 per cent to $16.47.
Financial technology provider Praemium has sold its international business to investment researcher Morningstar for $65.1 million.
Praemium said its operations in Dubai, Hong Kong, the UK and the US state of Jersey had been at a scale disadvantage to competitors.
Some sale funds will go to investors and a dividend policy will be introduced for the 2023 financial year.
Shares were up 1.42 per cent to $1.43.
The Australian dollar was buying 71.47 US cents at 1200 AEDT, higher from 71.13 US cents at Tuesday’s close.