Australian Market Notably Higher

The Australian stock market is notably higher on Monday following the rally on Wall Street Friday as upbeat U.S. jobs data for the month of December and optimism about U.S.-China trade talks this week boosted sentiment.

Investors shrugged off data showing a contraction in Australia’s manufacturing sector for the first time in more than two years. Mining, oil and bank stocks are among the major gainers.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is rising 93.20 points or 1.66 percent to 5,712.60, just off a high of 5,712.80 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is up 95.00 points or 1.67 percent to 5,772.00. The Australian market recouped early losses, but still closed lower on Friday.

Among the major miners, BHP Group is rising more than 3 percent, Rio Tinto is advancing almost 3 percent and Fortescue Metals is higher by more than 2 percent.

Oil stocks are higher after a nearly 2 percent increase in crude oil prices on Friday. Santos is higher by more than 4 percent, Oil Search is gaining more than 3 percent and Woodside Petroleum is advancing almost 2 percent.

In the banking space, ANZ Banking, Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank and Westpac are higher in a range of 1.5 percent to 1.8 percent.

Bucking the trend, gold miner Newcrest Mining is declining almost 1 percent and Evolution Mining is losing almost 2 percent after gold prices declined on Friday.

Shares of Healius, formerly known as Primary Health Care, are losing more than 3 percent after the hospital operator rejected a A$2.02 billion takeover bid from Jangho Hong Kong Holdings, its largest shareholder.

In the currency market, the Australian dollar is higher against the US dollar on Monday. The local currency was quoted at $0.7122, up from $0.7023 on Friday.

In economic news, the latest survey from the

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