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Australia, New Zealand: Shares bounce on miners and takeover rally

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[SYDNEY] Australian shares rallied 0.8 per cent, pulling away from earlier 2-1/2-year lows on Monday as a Wall Street bounce brought relief to hard-hit resource companies and helped stocks recoup some of last week's heavy losses.

New Zealand stocks, meanwhile, soared on takeover news.

The Australian share price index futures rose 1.1 per cent, or 51.95 points to 4,814.00 by 01.27 GMT. The benchmark shed more than 4 per cent last week, its second largest decline this year.

Global miners lead the charge after a 12 per cent surge in oil prices on Friday brightened the mood following another tough week for commodities.

BHP Billiton and Fortescue Metals rose more than 5 per cent each, while Rio Tinto added 2.8 per cent.

Helping on Monday were better-than-expected earnings results with Broadspectrum jumping 6 per cent, after its first half net profit tripled, while the company also upgraded earnings guidance. The firm manages Australia's offshore immigration detention camps.

Packaging firm Amcor was another strong performer, up 8.7 per cent after strong growth in tobacco packaging businesses.

But there was not much love for top coal rail hauler Aurizon Holdings, down 8 per cent after it reported a 23 per cent slide in first-half core profit. It also warned of little growth prospects.

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose 1.4 per cent or 83.7 points to 6,017.66 as Nuplex and Diligent soared on takeover news.

Nuplex jumped 29.5 per cent after it received a takeover bid from Belgium-based speciality chemicals manufacturer Allnex Belgium SA/NV that values the company at around NZ$1.05 billion.

Hamilton Hindin Greene Investment Advisor Grant Williamson said investors had responded positively but noted the offer is highly conditional and many investors may wait to see how it plays out although there will also be some quick profit takers.

Diligent jumped 26 per cent on news Insight Venture Partners is looking to buy it for NZ$4.90 per share in cash, which values Diligent at NZ$624 million.

He noted the company was largely viewed as "ripe for the picking" as most of its business is done in the US and"normally when you get to a certain size you come on the radar,"he said.

REUTERS