SYDNEY, AAP – Oil and gold stocks were surging on a tame Australian market as the possibility of Russia invading Ukraine continued to influence trade.
Energy stocks were up three per cent on the ASX on Monday after oil prices moved towards their highest levels in more than seven years.
World leaders have warned Russia could invade Ukraine within days after the larger nation gathered troops on the border.
Europe and the US would impose sanctions disrupting energy exports from top oil producer Russia. The price of Brent oil was up to $US95.5 per barrel.
Meanwhile the gold price was also climbing due to the uncertainty. Spot gold last traded for $US1,858.06.
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Gold miner Evolution was up eight per cent to $3.99. Rival Northern Star rose almost eight per cent to $9.17.
However a mixed market meant there was little change for the indices.
Healthcare shares had the biggest fall and were down one per cent.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 20 points, or 0.27 per cent, to 7237.3 points at 1200 AEDT.
The All Ordinaries index was higher by 12.6 points, or 0.16 per cent, to 7528.4 points.
US markets closed lower on Friday following a 40-year record in annual inflation that has investors bracing for hefty rate rises.
On the ASX, gaming giant Crown Resorts has sealed terms for a takeover by global private equity group Blackstone.
Under the proposal, Blackstone will buy all of the listed shares in Crown for $13.10 cash each, valuing the Melbourne based group at $8.9 billion.
This compares to a closing price of $12.39 on Friday, when it was valued at $8.4 billion.
Crown was up two per cent to $12.68.
Earnings season continued and JB Hi-Fi delighted investors with a quarter of a billion dollar share buyback.
First-half profit fell more than nine per cent however this was due to lockdowns and roaring sales in the previous comparable period.
JB Hi-Fi was up five per cent to $51.66.
Bendigo Bank was the latest bank to please investors this earnings season and reported first-half cash earnings up 18 per cent.
However Bendigo said lower second-half revenue was expected and it will need to cut costs.
Bendigo was up three per cent to $9.57.
The big four banks were all higher. Westpac was best and rose three per cent to $23.59.
The heavyweight materials category was a little lower and all major miners were down. BHP and Rio Tinto fell less than one per cent. Fortescue fared worst and slipped one per cent to $22.44.
The Australian dollar was buying 71.39 US cents at 1200 AEDT, higher than 71.20 US cents at Friday’s close.