The Australian share market has ended Monday higher, after a positive Wall Street lead and booming oil prices led to early gains, particularly among mining and energy stocks.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 was 21.6 points, or 0.36 per cent higher, at 6,084.5 points, and the broader All Ordinaries index was up 20.2 points, or 0.33 per cent, at 6,175.6 points.
Tribeca Investment Partners deputy portfolio manager Jun Bei Liu said the market responded to higher commodities and US oil prices at three-and-a-half year highs.
US prices shot through the $US70 a barrel mark on Monday for the first time since November, 2014, as a developing economic crisis in Venezuela threatened to derail its significant oil exports and a May 12 US deadline over a nuclear deal with Iran kept oil markets on edge.
Locally, Santos lost eight cents, or 1.3 per cent, to $6.12, Woodside Petroleum rose 25 cents, or 0.8 per cent to $32.55, Oil Search gained seven cents, or 0.9 per cent, to $8.00 and Origin Energy climbed 25 cents, or 2.6 per cent, to $9.97.
“The risk is rising oil prices will eat into spending and impact on consumption, which does not bode well for equity markets,” Ms Liu said
The ASX lifted in morning trade after the major Wall Street indices gained more than one per cent on Friday.
US jobs data showed unemployment at near 18 year lows, while below-forecast wages growth also soothed market fears of a fast rising US cash rate.
Two of the big four lenders ended a choppy day higher, with the National Australia Bank losing 0.7 per cent, to $28.91, and the Commonwealth Bank reversing earlier gains to finish 0.1 per per cent lower at $72.71.
ANZ shares were up 0.3 per cent to $27.62 after the bank announced that sales incentives will be cut from its bonus structures and that planners who fail two audits will have their contracts terminated.
Westpac was ahead 0.8 per cent, to $29.34, after lifting first-half profit 5.8 per cent to $4.25 billion.
Rising commodity prices boosted the materials sector, with iron ore players BHP Billiton and Fortescue Metals lifting 1.5 per cent and 0.4 per cent to $31.95 and $4.79, respectively.
Rio Tinto closed 0.1 per cent higher at $81.00.
Local aluminium players continued to benefit from rising prices, S32 up 2.4 per cent, to $3.85 and Alumina up 2.2 per cent, to $2.85.
Newcrest capitalised on higher gold prices and the news that work at its key Cadia mine in NSW, suspended in March after a tailings dam breach, will return to full production before the end of June, its shares are up 1.3 per cent to above its pre-shutdown price, at $21.82.
Shares in Orica fell sharply, down $1.29, or 6.4 per cent, to $19.00 after the explosives and fertiliser maker it revealed a first-half loss of $229.3 million following operational issues and writedowns
Meanwhile, the Australian dollar is down against its US counterpart, as the greenback remains near the 2018 peak it hit after Friday’s positive jobs figures.
At 1700 AEST on Monday, the local currency was worth 75.18 US cents, from 75.25 US cents on Friday.
ON THE ASX:
* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 closed up 21.6 points, or 0.36 per cent, at 6,084.5 points
* The broader All Ordinaries index was up 20.2 points, or 0.33 per cent, at 6,175.6 points
* The SPI200 futures contract was up 10 points, or 0.17 per cent, at 6,064 points
* National turnover was 2.6 billion securities traded worth $5.2 billion.
CURRENCY SNAPSHOT AT 1700 AEST:
One Australian dollar buys:
* 75.18 US cents, from 75.25 on Friday
* 82.11 Japanese yen, from 82.12 yen
* 62.98 euro cents, from 62.79 euro cents
* 55.51 British pence, from 55.46 pence
* 107.19 NZ cents, from 106.88 cents
The spot price of gold in Sydney at 1700 AEST was $US1,313.36 per fine ounce, from $US1,310.02 per fine ounce on Friday.
BOND SNAPSHOT AT 1630 AEST:
* CGS 5.75 per cent May 2021, 2.1582pct, from 2.1643pct on Friday
* CGS 2.25pct May 2028, 2.755pct, from 2.758pct
Sydney Futures Exchange prices:
* June 2018 10-year bond futures contract was at 97.23 (implying a yield of 2.77pct), from 97.215 (2.785pct) on Friday
* June 2018 3-year bond futures contract was at 97.8 (2.2pct), from 97.785 (2.215pct)
(*Bond market closes taken at 1630 AEST previous local session; currency closes taken from 1700 AEST previous local session)