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SYDNEY/WELLINGTON: Australian shares rose on Monday helped by a rally in mining stocks as commodity prices remained robust, while Australian Pharmaceutical Industries surged on a takeover offer from Wesfarmers.

The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.8% to 7,334.7 points, but prospects of an extended Sydney lockdown capped gains.

The benchmark had ended 0.5% weaker last week as the country’s biggest state, New South Wales, reported a record number of the highly infectious Delta variant cases.

Australian retail conglomerate Wesfarmers Ltd on Monday made a A$680 million ($509 million) indicative bid for pharmacy chain Australian Pharmaceutical, sending its shares soaring 19.7% at close. The country’s mining triumvirate BHP Group, Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals gained between 3.3% and 1.8%.

In New Zealand, the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.6% to 12,763.4.

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