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Australian shares are treading water at lunch, with the ASX 200 remaining just below 6000pts despite a positive lead from global markets on Friday. Gains from the banks and miners are offsetting modest losses elsewhere. US equities closed at record highs thanks to encouraging jobs growth while the UK’s FTSE stood out after the UK and European Union announced an in principle Brexit agreement.
Retail Food Group (RFG) is down 20 per cent on media reports the organisation behind Gloria Jean’s and Crust Pizza has not been treating its franchisees well. Fairfax reported RFG warned store owners not to air complaints in public or risk breaching contracts. RFG has denied the claims this morning.
Oil and gas producer AWE Limited (AWE) is up 13 per cent after receiving a second takeover offer. Mineral Resources (MIN) has made a $484m (80c scrip offer for each 22.325 AWE shares). This is approximately a 10 per cent premium to the cash offer made by a group in China last week.
Downer EDI (DOW) has been awarded a $312m contract to do work at the Carrapateena copper gold mine project in South Australia.
Bubs Australia (BUB) is up 2 per cent after its $5m Share Purchase Plan (SPP) has closed significantly oversubscribed. It received $28.7m in applications for existing shareholders to purchase shares at a discounted price. BUB planned on using the funds to help pay for the acquisition of Nulac Foods, marketing and expanding distribution channels.
No major economic news is due for release today. Over the course of the week however highlights will include an update on jobs growth this Thursday, the monthly data download for China and results of a business confidence and conditions survey tomorrow.
Later this week central bank meetings will be in focus. This includes the Federal Reserve which is widely expected to lift rates at 6am AEDT Thursday morning. Both the European Central Bank (ECB) and Bank of England are expected to keep rates on hold.
2.2bn shares have changed hands so far at lunch, worth $1.5bn. 547 stocks are up, 474 are down and 388 are unchanged.
Originally published by CommSec