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ASX opens in positive territory and pushes above the 7800 level

The S&P/ASX 200 opened in positive territory and continued to push higher during the morning session led by mining and energy names. The S&P/ASX 200 was 0.7 per cent higher as the market approached midday.

The SPI futures are pointing to a rise of 91 points.

Materials, Metals & Mining and Energy names were the key drivers of the morning session, with iron ore miners BHP and RIO both up over 1 per cent and FMG rising over 4 per cent. Whilst in the energy space large cap oil & gas names Woodside and Santos Energy were both up over 1 per cent.

In company news the board of property company McGrath has backed a takeover offer from Knight Frank and Bayleys. MEA shares were trading 20 per cent higher at 58.5 cps.
In more M&A news MMA Offshore confirmed it has received a takeover offer from Cyan Renewables. MRM shares were trading 10 per cent higher at 2.60 per share.
 
Best and worst performers

All sectors are in the black. The best-performing sector is Information Technology, up 1.33 per cent. The sector with the fewest gains is Consumer Staples, up 0.17 per cent.

The best-performing large cap is Fortescue (ASX:FMG), trading 4.18 per cent higher at $25.67. It is followed by shares in BlueScope Steel (ASX:BSL) and Meridian Energy (ASX:MEZ).

The worst-performing large cap is ALS (ASX:ALQ), trading 5.06 per cent lower at $13.04. It is followed by shares in Mercury NZ (ASX:MCY) and Newmont Corporation (ASX:NEM).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$2188.60 an ounce.
Iron ore is 1.4 per cent lower at US$109.10 a tonne.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a 1.36 per cent rise.
One Australian dollar is buying 65.14 US cents.