SYDNEY, AAP – The Australian share market has added to its post-Easter gains midway through the session, propelled by the healthcare sector.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index rose by 23.8 points to 7589 at noon on Wednesday, representing a 0.31 per cent increase.

Shares in Ramsay Health Care, the country’s biggest private hospital operator, were up 25 per cent to $80.59 after it revealed a $20 billion bid by a consortium led by private equity giant KKR. The offer represents a premium of more than 36 per cent from Ramsay’s close on Tuesday.

The ASX health care index surged as a result, up 3.14 per cent to 40895.2 points. Almost all major health stocks, including CSL, ResMed, Sonic Healthcare and Cochlear are in the green.

Investors retained their upbeat post-Easter mood even as energy and commodity prices pulled back, denting the appetite for Australia’s big miners and oil and gas companies.


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The US earnings season continues this week. Shares in Netflix were sold down heavily in the North American session after the streaming service reported an unexpected decline in first-quarter net subscribers.

Meanwhile, the Australian dollar was buying 74.05 US cents at 1200 AEST, compared to 73.57 US cents at noon on Tuesday.