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Australian Market Advances

The Australian stock market is advancing on Monday following the modest gains on Wall Street Friday after investors digested conflicting information regarding negotiations of a U.S.-China trade deal. Gains by banks and oil stocks helped offset weakness in mining stocks.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is adding 28.80 points or 0.43 percent to 6,752.90, after rising to a high of 6,763.00 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is rising 26.50 points or 0.39 percent to 6,859.70. Australian stocks closed little changed with a negative bias on Friday.

In the banking space, ANZ Banking, Westpac, National Australia Bank and Commonwealth Bank are higher in a range of 0.6 percent to 1.1 percent.

Oil stocks are also higher after crude oil prices rose modestly on Friday. Woodside Petroleum is advancing more than 1 percent, Santos is rising 0.7 percent, and Oil Search is adding 0.3 percent.

Meanwhile, the major miners are weak. Fortescue Metals is lower by almost 4 percent, Rio Tinto is declining almost 2 percent, and BHP Billiton is down almost 1 percent.

Among gold miners, Newcrest Mining is advancing almost 1 percent, while Evolution Mining is down 0.3 percent after gold prices edged lower on Friday.

Elders Limited reported a 3.7 percent decrease in full-year net profit despite higher revenues and maintained its final dividend. The agricultural products' company's shares are gaining more than 4 percent.

Bubs Australia said it has signed a two-year distribution deal with Vietnam's mother and baby store chain BiboMart JS Company for its goat milk formula to be sold in 135 BiboMart stores from December. The company's shares are also higher by more than 4 percent.

Qantas Airways said it has committed to zero net emissions by 2050 that will be achieved through fuel efficiency and the use of carbon offset schemes. The airline's shares are advancing more than 2 percent.

EML Payments said it is acquiring Prepaid Financial Services in a deal that valued the UK-based firm at about A$423 million. The payment solutions provider's shares are in a trading halt.

In the currency market, the Australian dollar is higher against the U.S. dollar on Monday. The local currency was quoted at $0.6861, up from $0.6882 on Friday.

On Wall Street, stocks turned in a lackluster performance, but managed to close higher on Friday as traders digested conflicting information regarding negotiations of a U.S.-China trade deal. Comments from a Chinese Commerce Ministry spokesman indicating the U.S. and China had agreed to roll back existing tariffs as part of a phase one trade deal contributed to strength in the markets on Thursday. However, President Donald Trump told reporters at the White House on Friday that he has not agreed to lift the tariffs on China.

The Dow inched up 6.44 points or less than a tenth of a percent to 27,681.24, the Nasdaq climbed 40.80 points or 0.5 percent to 8,475.31 and the S&P 500 rose 7.90 points or 0.3 percent to 3,093.08.

The major European markets all moved to the downside on Friday. While the French CAC 40 Index closed just below the unchanged line, the German DAX Index and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index fell by 0.5 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively.

Crude oil futures settled modestly higher on Friday despite higher crude inventories and renewed uncertainty about U.S.-China trade deal. WTI crude for December ended up $0.09 or 0.2 percent at $57.24 a barrel.

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