Australian shares have held on to gains by noon trading and were up more than 1.5 per cent with all industry sectors higher.

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark index was higher by 91.9 points, or 1.67 per cent, at 5588.9 points at 1200 AEST on Monday.

The All Ordinaries index was 93.7 points, or 1.67 per cent higher, at 5702.5.

Th early optimism helped e-commerce provider Afterpay hit a record high after it said interim chairperson Elana Rubin would take over the role permanently.

Shares in the company were up more than 8.0 per cent at $48.44 and have now surged more than 50 per cent since January 1.

The Afterpay surge helped information technology be the best performing sector, higher by 2.59 per cent.

Energy and consumer discretionaries were the next best, both gaining 2.48 per cent.

Origin was best of the energy giants, climbing more than 3.0 per cent to $5.63.

Online travel platform Webjet rose 13 per cent to $4.08 on hopes that more states will allow holiday travel as the coronavirus crisis eases.

Estia Health shares also rose 1.0 per cent to $1.44 after it reported none of the residents in its 69 aged care facilities across Australia tested positive for the novel coronavirus, and its permanent residential population has only fallen by 45 during the crisis.

The financial sector was higher by 1.69 per cent, with NAB and ANZ climbing more than 2.0 per cent each, while Westpac and Commonwealth Bank were up around 1.0 per cent.

The materials sector had the smallest gain in percentage terms – up 0.63 per cent.

BHP, Rio Tinto and Fortescue were up around 1.0 per cent each.

Traders are focused this week on escalating tensions between the US and China, along with the heightened civil discord in Hong Kong.

US-China friction came to the fore over the source of the coronavirus and escalated further with China’s proposal to impose security laws on Hong Kong, drawing flak from Washington.

The ongoing sitting of the China’s National People’s Congress this week is also being watched for more significant decisions.

The Australian dollar was buying 65.37 US cents at 1200 AEST, higher from 65.15 US cents at the close of trade on Friday.