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ASX200 climbs; Afterpay rallies on Block takeover approval; Liontown Resources rallies on first offtake agreement

  • The ASX200 is trading 0.57% higher at 7432.50 points after lunchtime.
  • Afterpay jumps 5% on Block takeover approval from Bank of Spain.
  • Liontown Resources rallies after signing its first offtake agreement with LGES.

The Australian market is following Wall Street’s lead to trade 0.57% higher today at 7432.50 as a surge in tech, gold and energy stocks boosts the key index. Energy stocks are benefitting from Brent Crude prices hitting their highest level since early November. The All Ords is trading 0.69% higher at 7763.60 points after lunchtime.

Australian jobs vacancies increased by 18.5% in the three months to November 2021 to just under 400,000 available positions in data out today. The jump in vacancies corresponded with the lifting of hard lockdowns along Australia’s east coast.

The tech sector is rallying more than 2% today after a strong session for the tech-heavy Nasdaq on Wall St overnight, with Appen up 5.11%, Afterpay trading 4.87% higher and Life360 jumping 4.83%.

Bitcoin is trading 1.94% higher over the last 24-hours at US$42,688.79 at 1:15pm AEDT.

Afterpay shares are trading almost 5% higher today after the Bank of Spain approved Block’s (formerly Square) acquisition of Afterpay by way of scheme of arrangement. Now the Bank of Spain has given the tick of approval, the Scheme is fully unconditional and will now be implemented without further shareholder or court approval. Afterpay shares will be suspended from trading on the ASX on January 19, 2022 and New Block CDIs will trade on the ASX under the symbol SQ2 from January 20, 2022.

Making headlines, Liontown Resources is also rallying more than 4% today after the lithium developer announced its first offtake agreement with South Korean-based global premier battery manufacturer, LG Energy Solution. The initial 5-year agreement underpins the development of Liontown’s $473m Kathleen Valley Lithium Project in WA. Under the deal, Liontown Resources will supply up to 150,000 dry metric tonnes per annum of spodumene concentrate produced at Kathleen Valley expected to commence in 2024.

And a pair of Los Angeles police officers have been fired after they were caught chasing Pokemon rather than responding to a shop nearby following a review of the police car’s dash-cam footage.

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