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The Financial Express

Australian shares inch up to two-week high

Published: December 13, 2017 13:22:32 | Updated: December 14, 2017 11:39:42


File Photo (Collected) File Photo (Collected)

Australian shares inched up to a two-week high on Wednesday as financial shares rose in line with their US peers.

The real estate sector was bumped up by shopping centre company Westfield Corp after it received a takeover offer from France’s Unibail-Rodamco SE.

The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 10.5 points to 6,024.5 by 0032 GMT. The benchmark rose 0.3 per cent on Tuesday, reports Reuters.

Westfield clocked a record gain of 15 per cent after coming out of a trading halt. The stock was the biggest contributor to the Australian benchmark after it said it would accept a $16 billion takeover offer from Unibail-Rodamco.

The financials index rose about 0.4 per cent, following a rise in Wall Street’s financials sector on Tuesday after robust producer price data for November hinted towards firming inflation in the US economy, boosting investor sentiment.

Westpac Banking Corp and Commonwealth Bank of Australia were among the biggest boosts to the financial index, rising about 0.3 per cent and 0.4 per cent respectively.

Consumer discretionary and energy stocks were the biggest drags on the benchmark index, with gambling machine maker Aristocrat Leisure shedding 1.1 per cent.

The Australian energy index shed about 0.3 per cent after oil prices dropped sharply on profit taking.

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