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Why GBST, Nufarm, St Barbara, & Woolworths shares zoomed higher today

The S&P/ASX 200 index has followed the lead of U.S. market and is on course to record a strong gain on Wednesday. In afternoon trade the benchmark index is up almost 0.5% to 6,684.4 points.

Four shares that have climbed more than most today are listed below. Here’s why they have zoomed higher:

The GBST Holdings Limited (ASX: GBT) share price has rocketed 16% higher to $3.60 after the specialist financial technology company revealed that it has received two takeover approaches. FNZ Group has offered $3.50 cash per share and SS&C Technologies has returned with a $3.60 cash per share offer, which values GBST at $244 million. Judging by its current share price, investors appears to believe another higher bid is likely.

The Nufarm Limited (ASX: NUF) share price has risen 4.5% to $4.38 amid speculation that the struggling crop protection and specialist seeds company could be a takeover target. According to the Australian, Nufarm is believed to have drafted in JPMorgan and UBS as advisers after it was approached by a US-based private equity firm. No formal approaches are believed to have been made.

The St Barbara Ltd (ASX: SBM) share price has zoomed over 4% higher to $3.12 after the spot gold price rebounded strongly overnight. According to CNBC, the precious metal has pulled back a touch this afternoon, but has still gained 1.25% over the last 24 hours to US$1,425.60 an ounce. This gain has been sparked by a combination of global trade concerns and lower US treasury yields. The S&P/ASX All Ords Gold index is up 2.1% this afternoon.

The Woolworths Group Ltd (ASX: WOW) share price has pushed 3% higher to $33.85 after the conglomerate announced plans to combine and then demerge its Endeavour Drinks and ALH Group businesses. Management believes the separation will allow Woolworths to benefit from a simplified organisational structure, a greater focus on its core food and everyday needs markets, and opportunities to continue to build out its retail ecosystem. The two businesses generate combined sales of $10 billion at present.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended GBST Holdings Limited. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.