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The local market’s green run came to an end on Thursday, with the key index closing 0.5% lower, as investor sentiment was dampened by the global sell-off from overnight on the back of tighter than expected results from the midterm US election. The ASX see-sawed throughout the session before closing lower, weighed down by sharp sell-offs in the energy, metals and mining and resources sectors. The utilities sector rocketed more than 13% today after Origin Energy (ASX:ORG), one of Australia’s leading energy companies, soared 34% after receiving a takeover offer worth $18.4 billion from Brookfield Asset Management and MidOcean Energy. The offer for $9 per share is the third revision of the initial offer the takeover partners first approached Origin with. Unsurprisingly, Origin Energy was the winning of today’s session.
It was a big day on the M&A front with fund manager Perpetual (ASX:PPT), also gaining over 12% after announcing it has received an improved takeover offer from the consortium comprising BPEA and Regal Partners, for $33 per share, which has been rejected by Perpetual’s board as the company determines the offer ‘continues to materially undervalue the company’.
Invictus Energy (ASX:IVZ) bucked the trend of the energy sector sell-off today, surging almost 150% after the upstream oil and gas company released a positive drilling update from its Mukuyu-1 well that is currently being drilled at the company’s 80%-owned SG 4571 licence in Zimbabwe’s Cabora Bassa Basin.
The winning stocks from today’s session were led by Origin Energy (ASX:ORG), followed by Perpetual (ASX:PPT) adding 14.82%, and News Corp (ASX:NWS) rallying 8.72%. And on the losing end, investors sold out of Pendal Group (ASX:PDL) fell 10.93% amid Perpetual’s requested delay to its acquisition of Pendal. Xero (ASX:XRO) also fell 10.85% today after releasing a first half trading update that missed expectations, and Block Inc (ASX:SQ2) fell 5.7% today.
The Aussie Dollar is buying 64.22 US cents, 56.66 British Pence, 93.85 Japanese Yen and 1 New Zealand Dollar and 9 cents.
In economic data out today consumer inflation expectations data in Australia for November came in at an increase to 6% which beat the market forecast of a decline to 5.1%. Tonight, investors will be awaiting the release of core inflation data for October out of the US with the market expecting a decrease to 6.5% from 6.6% in September.