The ASX 200 advanced 129 points (+2.9%), settling at 4603.
Eastern Star Gas (ASX:ESG) outpaced the market last week after agreeing to a $730 million offer from Santos (ASX:STO). Shares in ESG flew 50.4% whilst STO rose 1.1%.
In the materials sector, Sundance Resources (ASX:SDL) rocketed 33.8% after receiving a $1.44 billion from majority shareholder, Hanlong.
Stronger bullion prices failed to lift Newcrest Mining (ASX:NCM), which was off 0.6% following its latest production update.
The big banks recovered some of their recent losses following the Greece bailout package.
Westpac Bank (ASX:WBC) put on 5%, while Commonwealth Bank (ASX:CBA) added a more modest 3.1% amid news its CEO is planning to retire in November.
M&A action also buoyed ConnectEast Group (ASX:CEU), which surged 22.7% on the back of a $2.1 billion offer from investment firm, CP2.
However, Austar United (ASX:AUN) had a forgetful week after the ACCC blocked its proposed tie-up with Foxtel. AUN shares tumbled 18.7% for the week.
Economic News. What Does it Mean?
There were two key economic releases last week; the latest RBA meeting minutes and business confidence data.
The RBA released its minutes on Tuesday, where the central bank is signalled it is in no rush to raise interest rates.
The boards acknowledged the slow recovery from the Queensland floods and weaker consumer spending were hampering the economy.
Furthermore, a worsening global economic outlook was presenting new threats to the financial sector.
Nevertheless, the RBA indicated that the future path of interest rates would likely be determined by this week’s domestic CPI report.
The tentative approach by the RBA was reinforced on Thursday, when it was revealed business confidence plunged in the June quarter.
Confidence was weighed down by a higher dollar and cautious consumer spending and global financial uncertainty.
The NAB business survey showed confidence slumping from +11 in the March quarter, to just 6 in the June quarter.
Although the immediate outlook for business conditions had dampened, firms still had a somewhat optimistic outlook for the next 12 months.
This was most likely a reflection of the expected surge in economic activity due to the mining boom.
Overseas Market and Commodity Wrap:
Global markets bounced back last week, as European and American debt fears were overshadowed by surprisingly good profit results from companies in the US.
Investors put all of the recent gloom behind them and focused on the increasing profitability of American companies. Tech giant IBM and Apple announced knockout results during the week.
US markets reversed their losses almost exactly from the week before, with each of the three indices finishing firmly in the black. The Dow Jones rose 1.5%, while the S&P 500 climbed 2.2% and the Nadsaq added 2.5%.
European markets also performed well, with the UK (+1.6%), the German (+1.5%) and French (+3.1%) markets all rising on the back of the latest EU bailout plan for Greece.
Asian markets were mostly stronger, helped by strong gains on Friday.
The Hang Seng firmed 2.6% and the Nikkei gained 1.6% but the mainland Chinese market dropped 1.7%. The Australian market jumped 2.9% last week.
Commodities prices mostly rose last week, as traders sought out riskier assets once again.
Oil prices rose 2.7% on the back of higher demand expectations and while investors sought out growth assets, gold continued its climb to record levels, up 0.7% for the week.
Base metals were mixed last week. While aluminium (+4%) and zinc (+5%) soared, copper was flat and lead and nickel each dropped around 1%.