* Woodside Petroleum CEO to retire in second half of 2021
* Link Administration soars after rival buyout offer
* PGG Wrightson hits highest in more than 11 years
Dec 8 (Reuters) - Australian shares inched higher on Tuesday
as gold miners rose on strong bullion prices, though gains were
capped by losses in energy stocks triggered by an overnight
slump in oil prices.
Some investors stayed on the sidelines ahead of a vote in
the U.S. Congress this week on a one-week stopgap funding bill
to provide more time for lawmakers to reach a deal on COVID-19
The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.15% to 6,684.7 by 1215
GMT, after gaining 0.6% on Monday.
Link Administration was the top percentage gainer
on the benchmark with a rise of 14.5%, after SS&C Technologies
made a A$3.02 billion ($2.24 billion) buyout offer on Monday,
higher than a proposal by private equity firms Carlyle Group
and Pacific Equity Partners.
Energy stocks slipped up to 1.6%, tracking an
overnight slump in oil prices amid surging COVID-19 cases and
heightened tensions between the United States and China.
Whitehaven Coal and Oil Search, down 3.6%
and 3.2% respectively, were among the top drags.
Meanwhile, Woodside Petroleum said its chief
executive officer, Peter Coleman, planned to retire in the
second half of 2021 and that the search for a replacement had
On the upside, the gold sub-index gained as much as
2.8%, after expectations of fresh fiscal stimulus in the United
States pushed prices up 1% on Monday.
Sector heavyweights Newcrest Mining and Northern
Star Resources added up to 2.4% and 3.3%, respectively.
In New Zealand, the benchmark stock index was up
0.5% at 12,717.85.
Agricultural services firm PGG Wrightson hit its
highest in more than 11 years after projecting strong earnings
outlook for FY21.
(Reporting by Arundhati Dutta in Bengaluru; Editing by