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ASX rallies, property and energy best

A broad-based rally was under way to start the week on the Australian share market and investors were not deterred by Omicron worries and a record US inflation reading.

The market was up about 0.7 per cent on Monday as property, energy and materials shares gained more than one per cent each.

There was little apparent reaction to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson warning of a “tidal wave” of infections in his nation from the latest coronavirus variant.

Investors have sold stocks in recent weeks due to concerns about the strain, which Mr Johnson says will require people to have booster shots.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 50.8 points, or 0.69 per cent, to 7404.3 points at 1200 AEDT.

The All Ordinaries was higher by 51 points, or 0.66 per cent, to 7718.9 points.

ASX investors have followed their US counterparts, who were not troubled by Friday data showing the largest annual increase in consumer prices in nearly four decades.

Consumer prices surged to a 6.8 per cent annual growth rate last month, which was in line with expectations. Wall Street closed higher.

In Australian stock news, CSL confirmed it is talking to a producer of iron deficiency therapies, Vifor Pharma of Switzerland, about buying the company.

CSL said there was no certainty a deal would occur.

Shares were up 0.32 per cent to $299.29.

Property investment group Charter Hall was one of the shares helping the category to be the best improver.

Charter Hall raised its full-year earnings forecast after valuations of its properties revealed an increase of $3.5 billion.

The company raised earnings per security guidance to no less than 105 cents each.

Securities were higher by 4.66 per cent to $20.66.

Energy shares fared next best as investors discounted the Omicron impact and raised oil prices.

Beach Energy was one of the best and improved by 3.13 per cent to $1.23.

In mining, BHP shares were higher by 2.37 per cent after Canadian miner Noront Resources recommended investors accept BHP’s takeover bid.

BHP is no longer working with Wyloo Metals on a bid.

Fortescue and Rio Tinto were each higher by a little more than one per cent.

In banking, the Commonwealth was best of the big four and rose 1.11 per cent to $98.99. The others in the group each gained less than one per cent.

Ramsay Health Care has bought UK mental healthcare provider Elysium Healthcare for $1.4 billion.

Ramsay is using existing debt facilities to buy the company, which runs hospitals and complex care homes.

Shares were down 0.79 per cent to $68.95.

The dollar was buying 71.63 US cents at 1200 AEDT, higher from 71.48 US cents at Friday’s close.

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