SYDNEY, AAP – Shares were higher on the Australian market as miners and technology companies enjoyed the biggest gains.

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark index was higher by 42 points, or 0.61 per cent, to 6882.5 at 1200 AEDT on Monday.

The All Ordinaries was higher by 49.5 points, or 0.69 per cent, at 7162.4.

The materials sector, which includes the miners, rose 1.55 per cent, while the technology sector was up 1.54 per cent.

Consumer discretionaries was higher by 1.07 per cent while the worst performing sector was utilities, down 1.54 per cent.

The ASX200 has continued to rise above 6800 points since Friday.

The indices have mostly traded between 6600 points and 6800 points since November, when the development of coronavirus vaccines prompted record monthly gains of 9.96 per cent.

The ASX200 reached a record high of 7197.2 in February last year, before much of the world felt the effects of the pandemic.

The ASX rise also follows US markets closing higher on Friday.

Investors on Wall Street were confident following good company earnings, government talks to provide $US1.9 trillion in stimulus and the continuing distribution of vaccines.

On the ASX, Afterpay set a record price for a second consecutive session.

Shares reached a record $156.50 early, then were higher by 2.17 per cent to $154.59.

Telecommunications provider Vocus Group surged by 14.15 per cent to $5.00 after it said Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets Holdings made a purchase offer.

The two companies have offered to buy all shares for $5.50 each, and Vocus will provide detailed financial reports to help consider a potential sale.

Vocus provides internet, mobile and energy services, and operates the Dodo and iPrimus brands among others.

Mining technology provider Imdex rose 7.82 per cent to $1.86 after it claimed first-half earnings were up six per cent on the same time last year.

The company said it had streamlined its business and was making more money from rentals and software.

Net profit after tax was down 26 per cent to $13.5 million, compared to first-half 2020.

Shareholders will receive an interim dividend of one cent per share, the same amount as the previous interim payout.

In mining, BHP rose 1.84 per cent to $44.61, Fortescue was up 1.72 per cent to $23.63 and Rio Tinto climbed 2.32 per cent to $115.97.

In banking, ANZ was higher by 0.47 per cent to $25.41, the Commonwealth rose 0.42 per cent to $89.02, NAB was better by 1.7 per cent to $25.66 and Westpac climbed 1.48 per cent to $22.48.

The Aussie dollar was buying 76.68 US cents at 1200 AEDT, higher from 75.95 US cents at Friday’s close.