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Local shares have bounced back from two straight sessions of losses with the ASX200 starting the last full week of trade for 2017 on a high. Wall Street provided a springboard for the local market, closing at another record high with a vote for tax reform to likely be held early this week. The index opened around 20pts higher and has doubled those gains towards lunch
Most sectors are higher with the financials and materials leading gains with miners BHP, Rio Tinto (RIO and Fortescue (FMG) all above 1% higher. Only the energy sector is lower with crude oil prices mixed over the weekend. Oil producers Woodside (WPL) and Santos (STO) are ~0.6% lower. Aurizon (AZJ is weighing on industrials, sliding 6.5%.
ANZ Bank (ANZ) is the best performing of the big banks, lifting 1.9% after completing the sale of its 20% stake in China’s Shanghai Rural Commercial Bank which was originally announced in January this year. ANZ also sold its life insurance business to Zurich last week for $2.85 billion as it continues to streamline its business model. As a result of these recent sales, the bank will be buying back around $1.5 billion via an on-market share buyback. ANZ is also paying its final dividend of $0.80 to eligible shareholders today.
Downer EDI (DOW) has agreed with Adani by mutual consent to cancel the agreement for DOW to develop and operate the controversial Carmichael coal mine in Queensland. Adani will now become the owner operator of the mine. DOW is down by 0.4%
Cimic Group (CIM) is a touch lower after winning a contract with the Victorian State Government for its Metro Tunnel Project. CPB Contractors, which is the construction company for CIM, is expected to generate $312 million of revenue from works on the project and will commence construction in 2018.
Aconex (ACX) has received a $1.6 billion takeover offer from US based Oracle to acquire 100% of the Melbourne based cloud-based solutions company. Oracle is offering $7.80 per share in the agreement which is a 47% premium to ACX’s $5.29 close last Friday. ACX has surged 44% on the takeover deal.
Later today, the Australian Federal Government will release its mid-year budget update and the Aussie dollar is trading near US76.5c. So far today, 1.6B units have traded hands worth $1.8B with 612 stocks higher, 438 lower and 415 unchanged.
Originally published by CommSec