SYDNEY, AAP – Healthcare shares were the standout after the Australian market made a middling start to the trading week.
Shares in healthcare companies were higher by more than one per cent after market giant CSL gained 1.61 per cent to $288.90.
Materials shares had the only other sizeable move and dropped 0.56 per cent. Iron ore prices were lower.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up by 4.5 points, or 0.06 per cent, to 7034.8 at 1200 AEST.
The All Ordinaries was higher by 2.1 points, or 0.02 per cent, to 7267.4 points.
The slow start comes after Wall Street closed mixed on Friday.
Investors remain focused on the possibility of inflation as the economy stirs to life following more than a year of shutdowns due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile, traders may be keeping an eye on the coronavirus situation in Melbourne where two likely infections have been reported.
The Health Department says it was notified on Monday morning of two likely cases in the city’s northern suburbs.
The infections are connected and the people have been isolated.
Sydney Airport shares were down 2.39 per cent to $5.71.
Qantas shares were unchanged at $4.74.
The big miners were all lower following the easing iron ore price.
Chinese officials last week declared a crackdown on rising commodity prices.
BHP on Monday was lower by 1.06 per cent to $47.24. Fortescue was down 1.92 per cent to $21.87. Rio Tinto shed 1.47 per cent to $120.32.
Buy now, pay later provider Zip is expanding to Europe and the Middle East after agreeing to buy two companies for a total of $160 million.
Zip will buy European firm Twisto Payments for $140 million and emerging payments provider Spotii of the Middle East for $20 million. Both are buy now, pay later providers.
Shares were up 2.27 per cent to $7.20.
Investors raised shares in online consumer goods store Kogan by 8.39 per cent to $9.43.
The share price fell by 14 per cent on Friday after Kogan lowered earnings expectations due to holding excess stock.
In banking, the big four were all higher. Westpac was best and rose 0.97 per cent to $25.90.
Freedom Foods shares were higher by 4.65 per cent to 45 cents after it sold additional shares and raised $265 million.
The company said the funds would help repay bank debt and return the company to sustainability.
Freedom also has an extraordinary general meeting on Tuesday for measures to improve its finances.
The Australian dollar was buying 77.24 US cents at 1200 AEST, lower from 77.57 US cents at Friday’s close.