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Australian Market Notably Higher

The Australian stock market is notably higher on Monday, with stocks rising across the board despite the lackluster cues from Wall Street Friday amid concerns over rising U.S.-China tensions. Optimism about more stimulus by global central banks to ease the impact of the coronavirus pandemic helped lift stocks.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is adding 81.50 points or 1.48 percent to 5,578.50 after touching a high of 5,589.40 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is up 82.90 points or 1.48 percent to 5,691.70. Australian markets closed lower on Friday.

In the oil sector, Oil Search is gaining more than 3 percent, Santos is rising almost 3 percent and Woodside Petroleum is higher by almost 2 percent, even as crude oil prices declined about 2 percent on Friday.

In the banking space, National Australia Bank is rising more than 2 percent, ANZ Banking is higher by 2 percent, Westpac is advancing more than 1 percent and Commonwealth Bank of Australia is adding almost 1 percent.

In the mining space, Rio Tinto is advancing more than 1 percent, BHP is adding almost 1 percent, and Fortescue Metals is rising 0.6 percent.

Gold miners are also higher after gold prices rose on Friday. Evolution Mining is higher by more than 1 percent and Newcrest Mining is adding 0.3 percent.

Afterpay Touch Group said its interim chairperson Elana Rubin will take over the role permanently. The company also recruited US-based Sharon Rothstein to join its board as a non-executive director as it focuses on bolstering its presence in the US market. The e-commerce provider's shares are higher by more than 5 percent.

Nine Entertainment Co. said it has agreed to sell New Zealand media giant Stuff to its own management team led by chief executive Sinead Boucher. Shares of Nine Entertainment are gaining almost 5 percent.

QBE Insurance aid its exposure to business interruption insurance claims by customers in the UK will be limited to A$115 million due to reinsurance. The insurance giant's shares are rising almost 6 percent.

In the currency market, the Australian dollar is higher against the U.S. dollar on Monday. The local unit was quoted at $0.6544, compared to Friday's close of $0.6515.

On Wall Street, stocks showed a lack of direction over the course of the trading session on Friday before ending the day little changed. Concerns about rising tensions between the U.S. and China kept traders on the sidelines, as Beijing moved to strengthen control over Hong Kong with new security laws. U.S. President Donald Trump warned that Washington would react "very strongly" if China follows through on its plans. The latest developments come after the Senate passed a bill on Wednesday that would potentially delist Chinese stocks from U.S. exchanges.

While the Dow edged down 8.96 points or less than a tenth of a percent to 24,465.16, the Nasdaq climbed 39.71 points or 0.4 percent to 9,324.59 and the S&P 500 rose 6.94 points or 0.2 percent to 2,955.45.

The major European markets turned in a mixed performance on Friday. While the German DAX Index inched up by 0.1 percent, the French CAC 40 Index closed just below the unchanged line and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index fell by 0.4 percent.

Crude oil prices drifted lower on Friday as concerns about the outlook for energy demand resurfaced due to rising tensions between the U.S. and China over Hong Kong. WTI crude for July delivery slid $0.67 or about 2 percent to $33.25 a barrel.

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