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Australian stocks record 7yrs high at end trade, S&P 200 soars 57.5pts

Australian stocks record 7yrs high at end trade, S&P 200 soars 57.5pts

PERTH:  Australian stocks has hit its highest point in more than six-and-a-half years, boosted by optimism of a Greek bailout deal and a robust takeover offer for logistics group Toll Holdings.

At the 4.15pm (AEDT) official market close, the benchmark S & P/ASX200 index added 57.5 points, or 0.98 per cent, to 5,915.7, while the broader All Ordinaries index rose 55.4 points, or 0.95 per cent, to 5,877.7.

Today’s close brings the market to its highest point since May 2008.

IG chief market strategist Chris Weston said the market picked itself up after a sluggish morning, with some money flowing back into the banks, and some strong earnings numbers.

While big names such as Woodside Petroleum reported and pleased the market, Mr Weston said, the biggest story of the day was Japan Post’s $6.5bn takeover offer for Toll.

“The stock is now trading at a modest discount to the $9.04 bid, suggesting investors see a small chance of a rejection from FIRB, although shareholders can also still vote this down,” Mr Weston said, “But at a 55 per cent premium to the consensus 12-month price target you’d question the logic.”

Sales trader for CMC Markets, Will Leys, said the industrial sector led the charge today, attributable to Toll Holdings’ meteoric rise — and the move may boost broader market sentiment.

“This event may also spark a fresh round of takeover speculation, and in turn woo investors into other possible targets,” Mr Leys said.

In local economic news, the Westpac-Melbourne Institute Leading Indexes of Economic Activity came in below trend for the twelfth straight month.

Tomorrow is another big day for company earnings, with Wesfarmers, AMP, Fairfax, Virgin Australia and Tatts group reporting.