By Oliver Gray
Investing.com - The S&P/ASX 200 added 55.60 points or 0.73% to 7,620.80 in the first hour of Wednesday’s trade, extending gains of 0.4% in the previous session as health care companies rallied following news of Ramsay Health Care's (ASX: RHC ) takeover offer from global private equity giant KKR & Co LP (NYSE: KKR ).
ASX 200 Futures were pointing 0.1% lower.
Among stocks, Health Care led the gains, up 2.8% collectively as Ramsay Health Care Ltd (ASX: RHC ) surged 27.4%, CSL Ltd (ASX: CSL ) added 1.9%, Sonic Healthcare Ltd (ASX: SHL ) gained 3%, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Ltd (ASX: FPH ) lifted 2.1% and Resmed Inc DRC (ASX: RMD ) gained 2.2%.
Financials also gained 0.8% overall, with Macquarie Group Ltd (ASX: MQG ) up 1.4%, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd (ASX: ANZ ) adding 1.2%, National Australia Bank Ltd (ASX: NAB ) lifting 0.9% and Commonwealth Bank Of Australia (ASX: CBA ) up 0.6%.
Meantime, Materials fell 0.8% as BHP Billiton Ltd (ASX: BHP ) fell 0.9%, Fortescue Metals Group Ltd (ASX: FMG ) lost 0.4% and Pilbara Minerals Ltd (ASX: PLS ) shed 1.7%. Rio Tinto Ltd (ASX: RIO ) also slumped 2% after revealing weaker than expected quarterly production numbers.
In New Zealand, the NZX 50 added 0.4% to 11,885.
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