• SYDNEY, AAP – Westpac delighted investors with its first-half earnings on a good day for banks, however most of the share market fell.The bank’s cash earnings more than trebled to $3.5 billion and shares closed higher by five per cent to $26.23.The positivity helped much of the industry. Shares in financial companies closed up by 1.42 per cent.

    Meanwhile, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed higher by three points, or 0.04 per cent, to 7028.8 on Monday.

    The All Ordinaries closed down by 3.9 points, or 0.05 per cent, to 7286.8 points.

    The Australian dollar was buying 77.10 US cents at 1622 AEST, lower from 77.78 US cents at Friday’s close.