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Local shares are off to a positive start today with the ASX 200 gaining around 70 points or 1% at 6806 approaching lunch. The overnight lead from Wall St was positive despite the simmering tensions between US and Iran/Iraq with the US sharemarkets lifting from lows on Monday. The Dow Jones closed higher by 69 points or 0.2%. The S&P500 index rose by 0.4% and the Nasdaq index lifted 51 points or 0.6%.

Majority of sectors are in positive territory with only Materials flirting with negative territory, weighed down by a drop in gold stocks with investors moving away from safe haven stocks. A short time ago Newcrest Mining (NCM) was down 2.1% while Northern Star Resources (NST) was trading 3.4% lower.

CSL Ltd (CSL) is one of the most improved stocks today with the Healthcare sector leading the gains. CSL has improved by as much as 1.8%, and is currently trading around $281.34.

Major Banks are firmly in positive territory, with all of the big four trading higher by over 1% today. CBA is currently trading up 1.4%, NAB up by 1.3%, ANZ adding over 1.4% and WBC ahead by 1.3%.

Buy now pay later provider Sezzle (SZL) is soaring close to 30% today with the company announcing that they expect a positive outcome from the discussions with the State of California Department of Business in regards to securing a California Finance Lenders Licence. Larger rival Afterpay Ltd (APT) has also recorded gains today with the stock trading up by over 1%.

Global oil prices rose modestly on Monday in response to tensions between the US and both Iran and Iraq. Local energy stocks are reacting positively with Santos Ltd (STO) adding over 2% and Woodside Petroleum (WPL) trading close to 1% higher.

The Aussie Dollar is slightly weaker buying around 69.30 US Cents. So far 855 M units worth $1.5b have changed hands with 575 stocks higher, 362 weaker and 353 unchanged.

Published by CommSec