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It’s been a rather muted start to the new week for the Aussie market with the ASX 200 swinging between small gains and losses in the first few hours of trade. The benchmark index is now currently 6 points or 0.1% lower at 6,096 around midday and has traded in a narrow 18 point range. Today’s moves follows what was the best weekly move last week since April for the ASX 200, with a 5.4% surge in five days.

The tech sector is the standout so far, leading improvements with a number of tech stocks in takeover
talks. Link Group (LNK) is surging 24% after receiving a ~$2.8 billion takeover offer from a private equity consortium including Pacific Equity Partners and the Carlyle Group. The offer is for $5.20 per share and is non-binding and conditional.

Elsewhere, Bravura Solution (BVS) has made an acquisition of its own with the financial software provider parting with $41.5 million (GBP23m) to acquire UK pensions administration firm Delta Software. BVS shares are 6.5% higher. BNPL names are also advancing and adding to broader tech gains. Afterpay (APT) is lifting 1.8%.

Financials are also improving with small gains for the big four banks. ANZ Bank (ANZ) is leading the way, lifting 0.6% while National Bank (NAB) is flat. Weighing on the broader market is losses for energy, materials and industrials. Energy names are being dragged lower by a drop in global oil prices over the weekend, although oil prices still jumped more than 9% for the week. Cooper Energy (COE) is 0.7% higher having declared as Australia’s first carbon-neutral domestic gas producer in FY20.

Despite iron ore prices firming, the major miners are in decline with BHP Group (BHP) down 0.8%. Evolution Mining (EVN) is 3.3% higher having released preliminary September quarter results, which have come in ahead of FY21 plans. Full quarter results will be released on 27 October.

The Aussie dollar slightly weaker at 72.17 US cents with no major local economic data due out today. So far, 3b units have been traded worth $1.8b with 727 stocks higher, 465 softer and 337 unchanged.

Published by CommSec