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Australian Market Rises

The Australian stock market is rising on Monday despite the mixed cues from Wall Street Friday, as positive news on the coronavirus vaccine front boosted sentiment. AstraZeneca said it has resumed the late-stage trials of its coronavirus vaccine in the UK after receiving approval from safety regulators.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is adding 25.50 points or 0.44 percent to 5,884.90, after touching a high of 5,903.20 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is advancing 20.80 points or 0.34 percent to 6,059.70.

Among the major miners, Rio Tinto is rising more than 3 percent, BHP Group is rising more than 2 percent and Fortescue Metals is adding almost 1 percent.

Gold miners are also higher even as gold prices snapped a third-session winning streak to decline on Friday. Evolution Mining is higher by more than 2 percent and Newcrest Mining is advancing almost 2 percent.

The big four banks - ANZ Banking, Commonwealth Bank, Westpac and National Australia Bank - are rising in a range of 1.0 percent to 1.6 percent.

Macquarie Group said it expects a 35 percent decrease in first-half profit and said it was unable to provide "meaningful" guidance for the full year amid market conditions that are likely to remain challenging. The investment bank's shares are losing more than 4 percent.

In the oil sector, Oil Search and Santos are rising almost 2 percent, while Woodside Petroleum is advancing more than 1 percent after crude oil prices edged up Friday.

In the tech space, Afterpay and Appen are declining more than 2 percent each, while WiseTech Global is down 0.4 percent.

On Wall Street, stocks closed mixed in choppy trading on Friday as traders seemed reluctant to make significant moves following the substantial volatility seen over the past several sessions. Traders may also have been looking ahead to the Federal Reserve's latest monetary policy decision scheduled for next Wednesday. The Fed is widely expected to leave rates at near-zero levels but could make tweaks to its accompanying statement. The central bank's latest economic projections may also attract some attention.

While the Nasdaq fell 66.05 points or 0.6 percent to 10,853.55, the S&P 500 inched up 1.78 points or 0.1 percent to 3,340.97 and the Dow climbed 131.06 points or 0.5 percent to 27,665.64.

The major European markets closed mostly higher on Friday. The French CAC 40 Index crept up by 0.2 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index rose by 0.5 percent, while the German DAX Index edged down by 0.1 percent.

Crude oil prices recovered after an early setback on Friday and managed to close slightly higher. WTI crude for October ended up $0.03 or about 0.08 percent at $37.33 a barrel.

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