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Australian sharemarket closes in the green, Crown rockets on fresh Blackstone bid

The Australian sharemarket crept higher for the second straight day, with embattled casino giant Crown the standout after returning to the crosshairs of US private equity giant Blackstone.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index added just 17.3 points or 0.23 per cent to 7396.5, while the All Ordinaries Index lifted 16.7 points or 0.22 per cent to 7729.9.

OMG chief executive Ivan Tchourilov said there were no drastic moves in any sector, but the local bourse was down for the week.

“Heavy sell-offs on Tuesday and Wednesday outweighed the slight gains made during the remainder of the week,” he said.


The best performer in the top 200 was Crown Resorts after Blackstone lobbed a fresh $8.5bn takeover bid, having been rebuffed twice over the past 12 months.

Crown said it had not yet formed a view on the improved $12.50 per share offer.

The new bid sent shares in Crown surging to a multi-month high of $11.59 in intraday trade, adding more than $1bn to the company’s value, before finishing up 16.57 per cent at $11.54.

“The market price will usually lift to the offer price when there’s a takeover bid – that didn’t happen today,” Mr Tchourilov said.


As a result of the damning NSW and Victorian investigations into money laundering at Crown, its biggest shareholder, James Packer, is being forced to reduce his 37 per cent shareholding “and a takeover offer will probably get him the best value, so any offer thrown his way will be considered” Mr Tchourilov said.

Crown’s other would-be suitor, Star Entertainment Group, shed 1.57 per cent to $3.77, while rival SkyCity Entertainment Group put on 1.97 per cent to $3.11.

Banks took chunks out of the major indices, with all of the big four down from last Friday, particularly Commonwealth Bank, Mr Tchourilov said.

“Buy-the-dip investors showed up in force: CBA and Westpac were the first and second most purchased for Openmarkets investors,” he said.


“The third was Fortescue Metals, which got an excellent price bump the week before due to government support for Evergrande and the easing US-China hostilities.”

ANZ dipped 0.66 per cent to $27.30, CBA rose 0.36 per cent to $97.81, National Australia Bank backtracked 0.49 per cent to $28.57 and Westpac inched one cent higher to $22.14.

Fortescue lifted 0.85 per cent to $15.47, Rio Tinto added 0.83 per cent to $90.25, BHP appreciated 1.14 per cent to $36.45 and Mineral Resources advanced 3.45 per cent to $41.38.

Cooper Metals made a positive ASX debut, jumping 7.5 per cent to 21.5 cents after raising $4.8m to advance copper and gold projects in Western Australia and Queensland.

Camera IconThis week's movers and shakers, provided to NCA NewsWire by OMG (Openmarkets Group). Credit: NCA NewsWire

Shoe retailer Accent Group put on 4.28 per cent to $2.68 despite providing a trading update showing earnings had taken a $40m hit from store closures during the first 18 weeks of this financial year.

The group, which has Glue and Stylerunner in its stable, said it was pleased with trade over the past several weeks and was optimistic about coming months, however, with 63 new stores opening in the first 20 weeks to November 14 and a plan to open more than 120 stores in total in fiscal 2022.

In the tech sector, Wisetech Global dropped 2.49 per cent to $57.27, Afterpay gave up 1.8 per cent to $116.42, Zip slumped 3.55 per cent to $5.70, NEXTDC firmed 0.48 per cent to $12.68 and Xero lifted 1.4 per cent to $151.

Telstra retreated 0.25 per cent to $4.06.

“Telstra was far from being the most sold this week after hitting its 52-week high just yesterday,” Mr Tchourilov said.

“Popularity in their T22/25 strategies have put upward pressure on the price, so we could be seeing a bit of profit-taking from long term holders who would have been disappointed with overall performance.”

The Aussie dollar was fetching 72.83 US cents, 53.98 British pence and 64.14 Euro cents in afternoon trade.

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