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Australian Market Edges Higher

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(RTTNews) – The Australian stock market is modestly higher on Monday in cautious trades following the positive cues from Wall Street Friday amid continued optimism about a new U.S. stimulus bill after U.S. President Donald Trump suggested he was once again in favor of a broad relief package. Gains by gold miners and banks were offset by weakness in the mining and oil sectors.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is advancing 5.90 points or 0.10 percent to 6,108.10, after rising to a high of 6,112.10. The broader All Ordinaries Index is adding 8.10 points or 0.13 percent to 6,320.60. Australian stocks closed marginally higher on Friday.

Gold miners are sharply higher after gold prices rose to a three-week high on Friday. Evolution Mining is gaining more than 4 percent and Newcrest Mining is rising more than 3 percent.

In the banking space, ANZ Banking, Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank and Westpac are rising in a range of 0.1 percent to 0.5 percent.

Among oil stocks, Oil Search is losing more than 2 percent, Santos is lower by more than 1 percent and Woodside Petroleum is down almost 1 percent after crude oil prices declined on Friday.

In the mining sector, BHP Group is declining 0.3 percent and Rio Tinto is down 0.2 percent, while Fortescue Metals is adding 0.5 percent.

On Wall Street, stocks closed higher on Friday, extending gains from the two previous sessions amid continued optimism about a new stimulus bill after President Donald Trump suggested he was once again in favor of a broad relief package. Trump’s comments came amid reports that the White House was planning to offer a $1.8 trillion package, which is up from the administration’s previous $1.6 trillion proposal, but still below the $2.2 trillion bill passed by House Democrats.

While the Nasdaq jumped 158.96 points or 1.4 percent to 11,579.94, the Dow climbed 161.39 points or 0.6 percent to 28,586.90 and the S&P 500 advanced 30.30 points or 0.9 percent to 3,477.13.

The major European markets also moved to the upside on Friday. While the German DAX Index inched up by 0.1 percent, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index and the French CAC 40 Index both climbed by 0.7 percent.

Crude oil prices drifted lower on Friday as traders made largely cautious moves, weighing demand and supply positions in the market. WTI crude for November ended lower by $0.59 or about 1.4 percent at $40.60 a barrel.