ASX up 0.23% at noon as M&A activity takes flight

Market Reports

by Peter Milios

Australia's stock market saw an increase in midday trading driven by several merger and acquisition deals and a rise in energy sector stocks. Sigma Healthcare announced a significant merger with Chemist Warehouse, creating an $8.8 billion retail powerhouse. Additionally, Kin Group increased its buyout bid for Pact Group, leading to a 23% surge in Pact Group's shares, while Whispir revealed ongoing takeover talks with Pendula, potentially surpassing a previous offer from Soprano Design. Woodside Energy and Santos also contributed to the market's positive performance with a 1.6% and 0.9% increase, respectively, following their recent merger discussions.

At noon, the S&P/ASX 200 is 0.23 per cent higher at 7,211.30.

The SPI futures are pointing to a rise of 25 points.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Energy, up 1.18 per cent. The worst-performing sector is Information Technology, down 0.48 per cent.

The best-performing large cap is Allkem (ASX:AKE), trading 3.6 per cent higher at $9.49. It is followed by shares in Mercury NZ (ASX:MCY) and Meridian Energy (ASX:MEZ).

The worst-performing large cap is IDP Education (ASX:IEL), trading 3.88 per cent lower at $22.31. It is followed by shares in Infratil (ASX:IFT) and Northern Star Resources (ASX:NST).

Company news

Grand Gulf Energy (ASX:GGE) has announced that the Jesse-1A well unexpectedly flowed significant helium to the surface during initial re-entry operations. Managing Director Dane Lance commented, "In the event of a successful flow-test Grand Gulf has the potential to quickly move to production, potentially within 6 months, requiring minimal capex given the existing gathering infrastructure and offtake agreement." Shares are trading 43.75 per cent higher at 1.15 cents.

WhiteHawk (ASX:WHK) has announced the addition of a contract order under the current Master Services Agreement for Cyber Risk Services in support of the client’s TPRM services. This additional order represents increased revenues under the existing Master Services Agreement of US$1.2m. Shares are trading 9.09 per cent higher at 2.4 cents.

MetalsGrove Mining (ASX:MGA) has entered into a strategic agreement to acquire six new lithium claims in Zimbabwe. MetalsGrove’s Managing Director, Sean Sivasamy, said, "The upfront acquisition terms are modest, allowing the Company to set about rapidly advancing these projects through a targeted exploration campaign early next year." Shares are trading 29.33 per cent higher at 9.7 cents.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1782.70 an ounce.

Iron ore is 1 per cent higher at US$137.40 a tonne.

Iron ore futures are pointing to a 0.4 per cent fall.

One Australian dollar is buying 65.70 US cents.

Peter Milios

Peter Milios is a recent graduate from the University of Technology - majoring in Finance and Accounting. Peter is currently working under equity research analyst Di Brookman for Corporate Connect Research.

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