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Australia shares jump to 5-1/2 year highs

Published on Apr 9, 2014 10:51 AM
This file photo taken on June 29, 2012, shows shoppers walking past department store David Jones in central Sydney. David Jones announced on April 9, 2014, it intends to recommend a takeover offer from South African retailer Woolworths. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australian shares climbed to 5-1/2 year highs on Wednesday morning as department store operator David Jones rocketed on a S$2.5 billion takeover bid, triggering a buying frenzy in the retail sector.

A rebound on Wall Street overnight had already given the market the early impetus, and an uptick in gold prices drove bullion miners up.

The spotlight was on David Jones, which went on trading halt on news it had agreed to a takeover offer from Woolworths Holdings that valued the company at around A$2.15 billion (S$2.5 billion).

The shares had soared 25 per cent to the takeover bid price of A$4.00, and was up 22.9 per cent at A$3.92 at the time of the trading halt.

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