The Australian share market has closed flat, with gains for tech stocks and the major mining companies slightly outweighed by a decline in telecom and consumer staples shares.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed down 4.1 points, or 0.06 per cent to 6,451.9 points at 1615 AEST on Monday, while the broader All Ordinaries was down 0.8 points, or 0.01 per cent, to 6,544.8.
“Not a lot of action today, I think of a lot of the excitement was in the telecom space today,” said Bell Direct equities analyst Julia Lee.
Vocus was the biggest gainer among the ASX200, surging 66 cents, or 16.97 per cent, to $4.55 after the owner of the iPrimus and Dodo broadband brands said Stockholm-based private equity firm EQT Infrastructure had made a $3.3 billion takeover proposal, offering $5.25 per share.
But overall the sector was down one per cent after heavyweight Telstra dropped nine cents, or 2.49 per cent, to $3.53.
Ms Lee blamed profit-taking, noting it had started off the morning strong, hitting a 15-month high of $3.635.
Mining shares were up 0.78 per cent as a whole after a rise in both iron ore and copper prices.
BHP gained 1.3 per cent to $37.94, Rio Tinto was up 1.8 per cent to $103.02 and Fortescue Metals gained 2.8 per cent to $8.45.
Tech stocks were up 1.3 per cent collectively, with Appen the second-biggest gainer on the ASX, up 4.6 per cent to $26.24 – another all-time high for the machine learning company whose share price has more than doubled this year.
Wisetech Global was up 2.6 per cent to $23.22 and Altium gained 3.6 per cent to $30.65.
Among consumer staples, Woolworths was down 1.22 per cent to $32.30 after completing a $1.7 billion off-market buyback, while rival Coles added 0.6 per cent to $12.50.
The big four banks were mostly lower, dragging the financial sector down as a whole.
Commonwealth dropped 0.7 per cent to $77.64, Westpac fell 0.7 per cent to $27.92 and ANZ dropped 0.1 per cent to $27.82.
NAB gained 0.1 per cent to $25.83.
Suncorp was down 2.16 per cent to $13.60 after the banking and insurance giant announced chief executive and managing director Michael Cameron had stepped down.
Fisher & Paykel Healthcare was down 3.2 per cent to $15.30 despite announcing a 10 per cent increase in full-year profit from its respiratory and home care products.
Air New Zealand dropped 1.54 per cent to $2.56 after announcing that its 2019 earnings would come in at the lower end of previously announced expectations of $NZ340 million to $NZ400 million ($A321m to $A378m).
Financial markets will be closed in the UK and US on Monday for a bank holiday and for Memorial Day respectively.
The Aussie dollar is buying 69.33 US cents, from 68.92 US cents on Friday.
Looking forward, ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence figures will be released on Tuesday, showing for the first time since the federal election whether Australian consumers are feeling more confident.
ON THE ASX:
* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 4.1 points, or 0.06 per cent, to 6,451.9 points at 1630 AEST on Monday.
* The All Ordinaries was down 0.8 points, or 0.01 per cent, to 6,544.8.
* At 1630 AEST, the SPI200 futures index was down one point, or 0.02 per cent, to 6,463.
CURRENCY SNAPSHOT AT 1630 AEST:
One Australian dollar buys:
* 68.33 US cents, from 68.92 US cents on Thursday
* 75.94 Japanese yen, from 75.53 yen
* 61.88 euro cents, from 61.58 cents
* 54.41 British pence, from 54.36 pence
* 105.78 NZ cents, from 105.61 cents