Australian shares climb 1.5 per cent in early trade

Shares have bounced about 1.5 per cent in early trade on the Australian market with all industry sectors higher.

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark index was higher by 86.4 points, or 1.57 per cent, at 5583.4 points after the first 30 minutes of trade on Monday.

The All Ordinaries index was 88.2 points, or 1.57 per cent higher, at 5697.0.

Energy was the best performing sector, up 2.58 per cent, followed by a 2.33 per cent gain in information technology and property, higher by 2.19 per cent.

Th early optimism helped e-commerce provider Afterpay hit a record price of $47.48 after it said interim chairperson Elana Rubin would take over the role permanently.

Shares in the company were up more than 6.0 per cent at $47.40 and have now surged more than 50 per cent since January 1.

Energy giants Santos, Oil Search and Origin all enjoyed gains of more than 3.0 per cent.

The sizeable materials and financial sectors were also doing well with rises of 1.04 per cent and 1.66 per cent respectively.

Big miners BHP and Rio had gains of more than 1.0 per cent to $34.71 and $92.58 respectively but Fortescue was down 1.0 per cent to $13.63.

Among banks, NAB and ANZ climbed by more than 2.0 per cent, while Commonwealth Bank and Westpac were up around 1.0 per cent.

Online travel platform Webjet gained more than 5.0 per cent to $3.79 on hopes that more states will allow holiday travel as the coronavirus crisis eases.

IG Markets analyst Kyle Rodda says traders this week would have to decide how to respond to the escalating tensions between the US and China, along with the heightened civil discord in Hong Kong.

US-China friction came to the fore over the source of the coronavirus and escalated further with China’s proposal to impose security laws on Hong Kong, drawing flak from Washington.

The ongoing sitting of the China’s National People’s Congress this week is also being watched for more significant decisions.

The Australian dollar was buying 65.47 US cents at 1030 AEST, higher from 65.15 US cents at the close of trade on Friday.

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