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The Australia sharemarket has crept into positive territory from a slow start, with the ASX 200 lifting by 0.1 per cent to 6,681.6 thanks to gains from gold miners, tech stocks, utilities, CBA and CSL. Local stocks are lifting for a sixth straight day and keeps the index close to the 9.5-month high hit briefly on Monday. The market is in the early part of its sixth straight weekly gain and has surged by ~13 per cent since early November partly on vaccine hopes.

The market is being held back partly by a slight pullback from some iron ore miners, energy stocks and stocks like Metcash (MTS), which surged yesterday on a better profit result.

G8 Education (GEM) is down 5 per cent after releasing a trading update and flagging $50-$80m in wage remediation linked to underpaying staff back to 1 July 2014. GEM said that occupancy at its childcare centres improved to 75.5 per cent recently.

Woodside Petroleum’s (WPL) CEO Peter Coleman intends to leave the energy company in the second half of 2021 after more than 10 years in the position. WPL shares have had a volatile day so far.

Link (LNK) is surging by 14 per cent after receiving a takeover offer from a US listed company called SS&C Technology Holdings. The group has offered $5.65 per share in cash for the share registry company. This is a 14 per cent premium to Monday’s closing price. LNK received a smaller takeover offer from a private equity firm in October.

Adairs (ADH) is lifting by 5.3 per cent after delivering like-forlike sales growth over the past 23 weeks despite temporarily closing its Melbourne stores due to lockdowns. Sales rose by 17.3 per cent thanks to a surge in online sales. Online sales close to doubled and accounted for almost 40 per cent of the bedding retailer’s total sales.

CIMIC (CIM) has been appointed as preferred tenderer by Rail Projects Victoria to improve rail services for Victoria’s Gippsland Line. An agreement on revenue will be confirmed at contract execution.

The NAB business survey showed that both conditions and business confidence improved in November. The ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer confidence rose by 1.8pts to 109.3 as more Australians say now is a good time to buy a major household item.

2.8bn shares have changed hands so far today worth a light $2.5bn. 612 stocks are up, 561 down and 412 are unchanged.

Published by CommSec