Investors on the Australian share market had modest gains to start the week, as slight falls in the banks and miners were offset by the rest of the market.
The S&P/ASX200 benchmark index rose early after markets in the US finished higher on Friday, where politicians continued to talk about economic stimulus prior to the November 3 election.
The ASX200 was higher by 19.8 points, or 0.32 per cent, to 6186.8 at 1200 AEDT on Monday.
The All Ordinaries was better by 20.2 points, or 0.31 per cent, to 6393.9.
Consumer staples and information technology were the top sectors, ahead by 1.29 and 1.19 per cent respectively.
The financial sector was lower by 0.04 per cent, while materials was down 0.24 per cent.
Treasury boss Steven Kennedy said he believed the Morrison government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic should have a greater impact on the economy in a low interest environment.
Mr Kennedy told a Senate Estimates hearing the economic recovery is underway, but also warned unemployment could stay persistently higher than forecast.
Meanwhile Victoria has a clean daily coronavirus sheet for the first time in more than four months, with no deaths or new cases.
However people in the state continue to wait for further easing of restrictions, after the Andrews state government paused because of a virus outbreak in Melbourne’s north.
On the ASX, Westpac warned of a $1.22 billion hit to earnings ahead of its full-year results next week.
The bank outlined a series of write-downs and revaluations of its operations including life insurance worth $816 million.
There was also the additional $404 million set aside from the $1.3 billion penalty Westpac will pay over breaches of money laundering and terror financing laws.
Shares were even at $18.78. Among major rivals, ANZ was up 0.25 per cent to $19.83, the Commonwealth was down 0.19 per cent to $69.76 and NAB lost 0.58 per cent to $19.41.
Coca-Cola Amatil was best of the highly valued companies and rose 15.02 per cent to $12.36 after Coca-Cola European Partners made an offer to buy the Aussie business.
The European business is offering $12.75 per share, and Amatil’s directors expect to recommend shareholders accept.
Meanwhile in mining, BHP shed 0.33 per cent to $35.88, Rio Tinto was down 0.37 per cent to $95.04 and Fortescue was lower by 1.4 per cent to $16.48.
Coles and Woolworths were higher by less than one per cent each, helping consumer staples be the best performing sector.
In technology, Afterpay was up 2.25 per cent to $104.43.
The market darling’s record price is $105.80.
The Aussie dollar was buying 71.28 US cents at 1200 AEDT, higher from 71.07 US cents at the close of trade on Friday.