SYDNEY, AAP – Investors appeared to have put concerns about troubled property giant Evergrande behind them as they rose the ASX indices to start the week.

The market climbed early and was near its peak of almost 0.9 per cent at 1200 AEST on Monday.

The heavyweight banks and miners had strong gains. The Commonwealth Bank was up 2.26 per cent to $104.00.

Among the miners, Fortescue gained almost five per cent to $16.10. Rio Tinto climbed 2.27 per cent and BHP increased by 1.19 per cent.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was higher by 65.2 points, or 0.88 per cent, to 7407.8.

The All Ordinaries was up 68.2 points, or 0.89 per cent, to 7717.5.

Investors’ confidence comes despite Chinese group Evergrande having missed a payment deadline last week.

The company owes $US305 billion ($A418 billion) and some are worried a collapse could pose systemic risks to China’s financial system.

US markets moved little on Friday. The S&P500 closed up 0.15 per cent.

In Australia, strikes planned at ports threaten to cripple imports ahead of Christmas.

The Maritime Union of Australia has started industrial action at Patrick Terminals sites in Brisbane, Fremantle, Melbourne and Sydney.

The stoppages could further add to supply-chain challenges companies have endured during the pandemic.

On the ASX, Sigma Healthcare started a contest to buy pharmacy operator Australian Pharmaceutical Industries and claimed to have trumped Wesfarmers.

The offer would provide 35 cents and 2.05 Sigma shares for each API share.

Sigma claimed its offer was worth $1.57 per share, based on the most recent closing price of Sigma shares.

Wesfarmers earlier this month raised its bid from $1.38 per share to $1.55 per share.

API shares were higher by 4.77 per cent to $1.53.

Sigma shares were up 4.2 per cent to 62 cents.

Wesfarmers shares were up 0.17 per cent to $57.46.

Synlait Milk has recruited its next boss from rival dairy company Miraka.

The news of the appointment of Grant Watson came on the same day the company posted higher full-year earnings.

Earnings climbed 78 per cent to $NZ37.3 million.

Shares were up 3.72 per cent to $3.34.

In banking, the Commonwealth’s rivals had good gains too. ANZ climbed 1.13 per cent to $27.72. NAB rose 0.76 per cent to $27.56. Westpac climbed 0.95 per cent to $25.49.

Energy providers were the top performing category. Woodside rose by more than three per cent. There were gains of more than two per cent for Beach, Oil Search and Santos.

The Australian dollar was buying 72.90 US cents at 1200 AEST, lower from 72.96 US cents at Friday’s close.