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ASX gains 0.3%; BHP closes at 3-month high

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ASX gains on materials, real estate sector upgrades, Ramsay goes back to basics
 
The S&P/ASX200 (ASX: XJO) managed another strong opening, gaining 0.4 per cent on Monday, ahead of the summer holiday slowdown that typically occurs.
 
The energy, mining and real estate sectors were the biggest contributors to the rally with Charter Hall (ASX: CHC) gaining 5.6 per cent, BHP (ASX: BHP) 2.7 per cent and Santa Barbara (ASX: SBM) 5.7 per cent.
 
Healthcare and financials were the largest detractors due to their size, falling 0.3 per cent.
 
Shares in BHP benefitted from a surge in the iron ore price even as the Twiggy Forrest-backed Wyloo Metals trumped their offer for Canadian Noront Resources by 47 per cent.
 
Charter Hall continued to surge after the company released independent valuation updates for a vast portion of their property portfolio, with were $3.5 billion higher than the balance sheet showed.
 
This will see the value of their property assets under management increase to $61.3 billion along with a likely increase in performance fees, with earnings now expected to be no less than $1.05 per share.
 
Brickworks (ASX: BKW) delivered a similarly strong update, confirming they expect to report record property earnings in the first half, between $290 and $310 million as their pivot to industrial logistics pays off.
 
Ramsay buys into mental health, Johns Lyng gains, CSL getting serious,
 
Shares in outsourced building services company Johns Lyng Group (ASX: JLG) gained 16.8 per cent after leaving a trading halt and confirming they had completed a $221 million institutional raising to acquire Reconstruction Experts, a specialist US group.
 
Origin Energy (ASX: ORG) gained 1 per cent after it was announced the Canadian Pension Plan Investments Board, known as CPPIB, had acquired a 6 per cent stake in Octopus Energy, the renewable energy-focused company that Origin backed in 2020.
 
The raising values the company at triple the price they paid as the unique technology gains traction across the world.
 
Ramsay Healthcare (ASX: RHC) is returning to its roots, having begun as a single mental health facility in Australia, with the $1.4 billion acquisition of Elysium Healthcare, a British mental health provider backed by private equity.
 
Unfortunately, mental health issues and referrals continue to grow around the world, with reports as many as 75 per cent of Britons with mental illness go untreated.
 
Management will seek to invest into building more scale for what a fast-growing and much-needed part of the market is; shares fell 0.9 per cent.
 
Finally, CSL confirmed they are in discussions for the acquisition of Vifor Pharma, a Swiss-based producer of iron and other treatments.
 
Markets fall ahead of a busy week for central banks, Pfizer acquires, Harley demerges
 
US markets dropped from record levels to open the week, the S&P500 down 0.9 per cent as Apple (NYSE: AAPL) gave up recent gains as it nears a US$3 trillion valuation.
 
The Nasdaq underperformed, falling by 1.4 per cent on the back of a 5 per cent fall in Tesla (NYSE: TSLA) which came after Elon Musk was announced as Time’s Person of the Year.
 
The Dow Jones outperformed, falling 0.9 per cent, hurt by drops in airline, cruise and hotel stocks as signs the Omicron variant may be seeing another surge in cases in the US.
 
This week sees some 20 central banks meet to discuss policy, the majority of which are seeking to balance significant accommodation, with the risk that they would be hiking rates into a slowing domestic economy.
 
Motorcycle brand Harley Davidson (NYSE: HOG) announced they would be demerging their electric motorcycle business via a SPAC, with shares gaining close to 5 per cent on the news.
 
Pfizer (NYSE: PFI) agreed to buy Arena Pharmaceuticals for US$6.7 billion with the target company providing therapies to treat immune-inflammatory diseases.

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