ASX gains steam with miners buoyant

The mining sector has enjoyed its best day in a month as rumours of China's reopening swirled, helping boost the Australian share market to its fifth winning session of the past six.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index on Monday closed up 41.2 points, or 0.6 per cent, to 6933.7, while the broader All Ordinaries gained 39.9 points, or 0.56 per cent, to 7129.2.

BHP accounted for 29 points of the ASX200's gains as the Big Australian climbed 5.0 per cent to $40.48, its best daily performance since March 22.

Tiger Brokers Australia chief investment officer Brett Reynolds said commodities were gaining ground on reports - denied by Beijing - that President Xi Jinping would lift the country's strict COVID-19 lockdowns.

"We're all relying on China," Mr Reynolds said. "If he relaxes COVID-zero, commodities are going to take off. It will be huge."

Overall the materials sector climbed 3.7 per cent, with Fortescue Metals up 4.9 per cent to $16.64, Rio Tinto up 3.8 per cent to $96.28 and Rio Tinto adding 3.8 per cent to $96.28.

The energy sector gained 1.4 per cent, with Woodside up 2.6 per cent to $39.16 and Beach Energy up 0.3 per cent to $1.635.

In the financial sector, Westpac was down 3.9 per cent to $23.19 as Australia's oldest bank reported cash earnings fell 1.0 per cent to $5.3 billion in the 12 months to September 30.

ANZ was down 4.6 per cent to $24.33 as it traded ex-dividend, NAB dropped 1.2 per cent to $31.73 and CBA was flat at $103.08.

Macquarie, also ex-dividend, was down 1.3 per cent to $168.20.

Medibank Private was up 0.4 per cent to $2.83 after the health insurer said it wouldn't pay a ransom demand to the perpetrators of last month's cybercrime, saying there's no guarantee it would ensure the return of customer data and could have the opposite effect.

Coronado Global Resources was down 7.1 per cent to $2.11 as the coking coal producer and its US competitor Peabody Energy jointly agreed to end merger talks.

The Australian dollar gained ground against its weakening US counterpart, buying 64.29 US cents, from 63.53 US cents at Friday's ASX close.


* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index on Monday climbed 41.2 points to 6933.7, a 0.6 per cent gain.

* The broader All Ordinaries rose 39.9 points, or 0.56 per cent, to 7129.2.


One Australian dollar buys:

* 64.29 US cents, from 63.41 US cents at Friday's close

* 94.64 Japanese yen, from 93.79 yen

* 64.64 euro cents, from 64.83 euro cents

* 56.74 British pence, from 56.50 pence

* 109.08 NZ cents, from 109.03 NZ cents.