Mining stocks were leading the Australian share market higher in early trade, also helped by optimism in the US for economic stimulus.

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark index was up 47.1 points, or 0.71 per cent, to 6681.2 at 1200 AEDT on Monday.

The All Ordinaries added 51.6 points, or 0.75 per cent, to 6916.9.

The materials sector was 2.0 per cent higher, while the energy sector had the next best gain of 1.9 per cent.

Healthcare was the only sector lower.

Wall Street indices finished at record highs on Friday after US politicians resumed negotiations for financial stimulus to help the battered economy through the coronavirus pandemic.

In Australia, Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe has told a payments systems online conference he doubts the country will become a cashless society.

Mr Lowe said cash still has an important role to play as an emergency payment method.

The governor made no reference to monetary policy or the state of the economy during his address.

On the ASX, IGA supermarkets owner Metcash has turned around its fortunes to report a $125.1 million first-half profit on the back of a coronavirus shopping boom.

It had reported a net loss of $151.6 million, including write-downs, for the same period last year.

Shares were higher by 9.16 per cent to $3.51.

The big miners were having a good session due to continued demand for iron ore.

The iron ore price was $US137 a tonne (China Port).

BHP was higher by 2.62 per cent to $42.59, Fortescue was better by 3.93 per cent to $21.42 and Rio Tinto was up 2.53 per cent to $116.07.

Westpac rose 0.19 per cent to $20.31 after selling its Fiji business and 89 per cent stake in Westpac PNG for up to $420 million to Kina Securities.

ANZ gained 0.08 per cent to $23.32, the Commonwealth was better by 0.21 per cent to $80.35 and NAB rose by 0.64 per cent to $23.28.

Macquarie Bank lost 1.29 per cent to $139.98 after some gains late last week following its acquisition of a US firm.

In energy, Santos has signed a deal with a Mitsubishi subsidiary to supply LNG to its Barossa project off the coast of the Northern Territory.

Shares lifted by 3.3 per cent to $6.57.

In the US, economists are hopeful of a $US908 billion aid package being delivered this week.

Yet investors’ optimism has been offset by data showing the economy is slowing.

The Aussie dollar was buying 74.32 US cents at 1200 AEDT, up from 74.27 US cents at Friday’s close.