SYDNEY, AAP – Investors have started the week strongly on the ASX and were showing no nervousness about inflation figures due this week.

Telstra’s purchase of Digicel was among the talking points and the market was up about three quarters of one per cent on Monday.

All major share categories were higher. Energy, materials, consumer staples and utilities had gained more than one per cent each at 1200 AEDT.

Information technology shares were the only ones with losses of note.

Investors will have plenty to ponder on Wednesday when Australia’s September quarter inflation data is published.

Annual inflation recently jumped to its highest level in 13 years – 3.8 per cent – due to surging fuel prices.

US economic growth figures for the September quarter will be the main overseas data of interest this week. Analysts tip annual growth of three per cent.

Australia’s annual general meeting season continues. Companies set to discuss performance this week include Blackmores, Whitehaven Coal, Woolworths, Boral, JB Hi-Fi and Star Entertainment.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was higher by 55.8 points, or 0.75 per cent, to 7471.3.

The All Ordinaries was up 52.7 points, or 0.68 per cent, to 7779.5.

The gains come despite US markets having closed mostly lower on Friday.

In company news, the Australian government is playing up its partnership with Telstra to buy a South Pacific mobile and broadband company as a sign of its commitment to the region.

The government, through Export Finance Australia, will pay most of the $US1.6 billion ($A2.1 billion) purchase price of Digicel Pacific.

Telstra is putting in $US270 million ($A362 million), with the government financing arm tipping in $US1.3 billion ($A1.7 billion) through debt and other securities.

Shares in the carrier were up 2.27 per cent to $3.81.

Origin Energy is selling a 10 per cent stake in Australia Pacific LNG for $2.12 billion.

Origin is selling the stake to global energy investor EIG and will retain a 27.5 per cent share in the LNG business.

Boss Frank Calabria said the sale would give flexibility in providing returns to shareholders, reduce debt and help growth opportunities.

Shares were up 3.57 per cent to $5.36.

The big miners were doing well. BHP, Fortescue and Rio Tinto each improved by more than one per cent.

In banking, the big four and Bendigo each rose by less than one per cent.

The final royal commission report into whether gambling giant Crown should keep its Victorian licence is set to be tabled in state parliament.

The Victorian government has confirmed the report of the inquiry into Crown will be released on Tuesday.

Shares in the company were up about one per cent to $9.73.

Shares in payroll and leasing provider Smartgroup tumbled after takeover talks failed.

A consortium of TPG Global and Potentia Capital over the weekend reduced its offer from $10.35 per share to $9.25 per share.

Smartgroup’s board has decided not to continue talks.

Shares were down more than 14 per cent to $7.99.

The Australian dollar was buying 74.74 US cents at 1200 AEDT, lower from 74.76 US cents at Friday’s close.