ASX at record closing high

The S&P/ASX 200 climbed into the closing bell to climb 27.3 points to a record high 7538.4 points.

The banks and Afterpay did much of the heavy lifting with Afterpay’s 5.5 per cent advance helping the tech sector finish up 2.1 per cent.

ANZ Bank finished up 1 per cent to help financials 0.96 per cent higher.

The retreating iron ore price saw the materials sector finish down 1 per cent. On the day BHP Group gave back 2 per cent.

Investors say almost every company is up for grabs in the mergers and acquisitions boom playing out, and this time, it’s the growth stocks playing an outsized role – not just the usual prey of discounted businesses that have lost their strategic way.

Square’s $39 billion acquisition of Afterpay, revealed on Monday, was the largest deal in Australian M&A history and showed that even S&P/ASX 20 stocks are capable of being taken out by enthusiastic bidders.

“To a certain degree, all public assets are seemingly up for grabs at the moment,” agrees Wilsons head of investment strategy John Lockton. “The cost of capital is so cheap and boardrooms have pivoted from crisis settings to now using the crisis as a way to reset businesses and all those ingredients are fuelling the M&A cycle.”

Another bid for an S&P/ASX 20 company would surely surprise the market, but Mr Lockton said bids for those businesses on the precipice of the elite index were indeed possible.

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