Markets

Australian shares hit record high on Afterpay boost; NZ rises

  • Financial stocks rose 1.% led by Zip Co Ltd , up 7.98%, followed by Magellan Financial Group Ltd , gaining 2.54%
Published August 2, 2021

Australian shares touched a record high on Monday as Afterpay Ltd jumped after US-based Square Inc agreed to buy the buy now, pay later firm for $29 billion, with the tech index being on track for its best day in nearly a decade.

The S&P/ASX 200 index rose as much as 1.3% to 7,488.4 points. It was up 1.27% at 7,486.7 by 0118 GMT.

The benchmark index was helped by a 9% jump in tech stocks , setting them for their best session since November 2011.

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Leading the gains on both the tech sub-index and ASX 200, Afterpay surged up to 29.3% to A$125 - its best day since May 2020 - as investors cheered Square's buyout of the company.

That lifted other BNPL firms Zip Co, up as much as 13.7% and the second-biggest gainer, and Sezzle that climbed up to 6.5%.

Energy firm Oil Search intended to recommend a sweetened buyout offer worth A$8.4 ($6.2 billion) from Australia's second-largest independent gas producer Santos Ltd.

Oil Search was among the top gainers on the benchmark index, surging 8.7% to A$4.14 and lifting the energy index by 2.1%. Oil Search and Santos were its top two gainers.

The mining index, however, was an outlier as it lost 0.6% on weak metal prices.

BHP Group, Rio Tinto, and Fortescue Metals were all down between 3.4% and 1.1%.

Financial stocks rose 1.% led by Zip Co Ltd , up 7.98%, followed by Magellan Financial Group Ltd , gaining 2.54%.

The ASX All Ordinaries Gold index rose 2.5%, led by Ora Banda Mining Ltd, up 7.41%, followed by Ramelius Resources Ltd, gaining 6.16?%.

In New Zealand, the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.5% to 12,651.1.

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