Australian shares have started the week on a positive note as investors hope for a US-China trade deal, with miners, the energy sector and health care posting the most gains.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed up 40.1 points, or 0.65 per cent, to 6,221.4 points at 1615 AEST on Monday, while the broader All Ordinaries was up 40.2 points, or 0.64 per cent, to 6,310.8.
“It’s really I think optimism for a trade deal that’s driving the market,” said CMC Markets chief market strategist Michael McCarthy, who added that positive jobs numbers out of the US late on Friday helped as well.
Miners had the best day, up collectively 1.59 per cent as commodity prices spiked. Mining giant BHP was up 1.71 per cent to $39.89, Rio Tinto gained 1.57 per cent to $101.48 and Fortescue Metals up 2.83 per cent to $8.
Those are nearly 11-year highs for Rio and Fortescue and eight-year highs for BHP.
Even gold miners did well, despite no corresponding rise in the price of the yellow metal, with Northern Star up 2.65 per cent to $8.91 and Newcrest Mining up 1.3 per cent to $24.95.
Energy stocks were up 1.45 per cent, with Santos gaining 2.25 per cent to $6.82, Woodside Petroleum up 1.35 per cent to $34.56 and Origin Energy up 2.11 per cent to $7.25.
It was a bad day for the financial sector, however, with all four of the big banks down, between 0.31 and 0.65 per cent. Westpac dropped the most, 17 cents to $25.88.
Pharma giant CSL gained 1.86 per cent to $200.54 while Telstra was flat at $3.27.
Flight Centre was up 1.71 per cent to $43.94 after announcing it had bought a 25 per cent stake in US corporate-focused platform The Upside Travel Company.
Lynas was up 0.47 per cent to $2.12 after some controversy following comments by Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who said the lithium miner needed to decontaminate radioactive raw material from its West Australia mine before refining it in Malaysia.
Infratil dipped 6.73 per cent to $3.88 after the New Zealand-based infrastructure investment company said an audit had found several of its assets are worth millions more than it thought, and it would have to pay its external fund manager up to $NZ75.6 million ($A71.7m) more in incentive fees.
The Aussie dollar is buying 70.99 US cents, from 71.25 US cents on Friday.
ON THE ASX:
* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 40.1 points, or 0.65 per cent, to 6,221.4 points at 1630 AEDT on Monday.
* The All Ordinaries was up 40.2 points, or 0.64 per cent, to 6,310.8.
* At 1630 AEDT, the SPI200 futures index was up 47 points, or 0.76 per cent, to 6,210.
CURRENCY SNAPSHOT AT 1630 AEDT:
One Australian dollar buys:
* 70.99 US cents, from 71.05 US on Wednesday
* 79.10 Japanese yen, from 78.95
* 63.22 euro cents, from 63.13
* 54.37 British pence, from 54.24
* 105.42 NZ cents, from 105.33