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The Australian sharemarket is off to a better start, with the ASX 200 index lifting by 0.15 per cent or 9pts to 6803.6 thanks to gains across 9 of 12 sectors. The All Ordinaries Index is sitting at a fresh record high.

With less than three trading days remaining in July, the market seems set to post its seventh consecutive month of gains partly thanks to very low interest rates and stronger commodity prices.

Mining and energy stocks have bounced back from a slow start to the session despite losses from Fortescue Metals (FMG), BHP and Santos (STO) at lunch. Gains from gold miners Newcrest (NCM) and Evolution Mining (EVN) together with Rio Tinto (RIO) are helping.

Infant formula company, Bub Australia (BUB) is up 6.3 per cent on a significant lift in sales over the past quarter. China accounted for 12 per cent of sales while Australia for 85 per cent. The solid result seems to be boosting shares in Wattle Health (WHC), A2 Milk (A2M0 and Bellamy’s (BAL).

Medical imaging and diagnostics group, Healius (HLS) is up 1.2 per cent despite warning net profit for the year to June will be at the lower end of its $93-$98m guidance range. Performance improved in the 2H of the year and it has started a review of its organisational structure to help boost growth.

Afterpay Touch (APT) is up 3.2 per cent after confirming that AUSTRAC has appointed an auditor to undertake an investigation into its AML obligations.

CommSec’s quarterly State of the States report was released this morning. Victoria is currently the country’s best performing economy thanks to solid population growth and a strong job market. NSW is in second spot while Tasmania has pushed clear of the ACT into three place thanks to strong building and a lift in home lending.

1.4bn shares have changed hands so far on Monday worth $1.7bn. 616 stocks are up, 438 down and 360 flat.

This is set to be a busy week for markets with American and Chinese trade representatives set to meet in Shanghai tomorrow, a quarterly read on Australian inflation will be out on Wednesday and the Fed makes its monthly rates decision Thursday. Rio Tinto (RIO) will also post half year results on Thursday.

Published by CommSec