SYDNEY, AAP – Two major mergers on the Australian share market have helped the indices spring to a record high.
US payment provider Square’s $39 billion play for Afterpay, and Santos’ improved offer for Oil Search, contributed to the ASX200 rising to 7493.2 points at 1200 AEST.
Afterpay’s board has recommended investors accept the Square offer and shares were up 24.14 per cent to $119.99.
The booming price of the ASX’s biggest technology company helped IT shares rise 8.49 per cent.
Oil Search’s board also endorsed Santos’ implied offer of $4.52 per share.
The combined company would be among the 20 largest oil and gas providers in the world.
Oil Search shares were higher by 5.51 per cent to $4.02.
Santos was better by 1.08 per cent to $6.52.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was higher by 100.6 points, or 1.36 per cent, to 7493.2.
The All Ordinaries was up 99.6 points, or 1.29 per cent, to 7763.8.
There were gains of more than one per cent for energy, consumer shares, healthcare, financials, telecommunications and utilities.
Materials shares were little changed after the iron ore price dropped.
The ASX performance defied a negative lead from Wall Street on Friday.
This was due in part to Amazon’s second quarter sales not meeting expectations. The company also said sales growth would ease in the next few quarters as customers ventured more outside the home.
In Australia, the Reserve Bank will meet on Tuesday to consider a changed economic environment since its last meeting.
Coronavirus lockdowns have affected many businesses, and economists tip gross domestic product to fall for the September quarter.
A lockdown for southeast Queensland has been extended to Sunday, while the NSW one stretches on.
On the ASX, Afterpay’s deal seemed to bode well for chief rival Zip.
Shares in Zip were up 6.92 per cent to $7.10.
Building materials supplier Boral fell 4.8 per cent to $6.83.
The decline comes after Seven Group’s off-market share offer closed last week.
Seven has taken a more than 69 per cent stake in Boral.
In mining, the iron ore price drop caused a slump in Fortescue shares.
They dropped 2.32 per cent to $24.33.
Rio Tinto was also lower and fell 0.35 per cent to $132.95.
BHP was little changed at $53.52.
In banking, NAB was best of the big four and higher by 2.15 per cent to $26.49.
The other three of the group were higher by more than one per cent.
The Australian dollar was buying 73.36 US cents at 1200 AEST, lower from 73.80 US cents at Friday’s close.