Australia shares end at highest in a month

Real estate stocks boosted Australian shares to their highest close in a month on Wednesday, buoyed by gains in shopping centre company Westfield Corp after it received a takeover offer from France’s Unibail-Rodamco SE.

The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.14 % or 8.600 points to 6,021.800 at the close of trade, registering a fifth consecutive session of gains. The benchmark climbed 0.25 % on Tuesday.

US and UK mall operator Westfield surged 13.7 % to its highest since October 2016 , pushing the index up, after saying it would accept a $16 billion takeover bid from Europe’s biggest property firm Unibail-Rodamco.

Other real-estate stocks Scentre Group and Stockland Corporation Ltd gained 1.6 % and 0.6 %, respectively.

“We’ve got some news of takeovers which is buoying the market,” said Ben Le Brun, an analyst at Charles Schwab Australia.

Cleanaway Waste Management Ltd also supported the upward march of the index as it jumped 8.4 % and was among the top per centage gainers on the benchmark.

The waste management company had said on Monday it would buy smaller rival Tox Free Solutions for A$3.425 per share in cash, valuing Tox at A$671 million ($508.48 million) on a diluted basis.

On the other hand, banks reversed gains earlier in the session and were the biggest drag, with the Australian financial index dipping 0.2 %, snapping five consecutive sessions of gains.

 

Source: REUTERS

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