Australian shares finish October up 6pct

The Australian share market has finished October with a respectable performance ahead of a busy week of central bank rate hikes.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index on Monday finished up 77.8 points, or 1.15 per cent, to 6863.5, while the broader All Ordinaries gained 81.3 points, or 1.17 per cent, to 7054.8.

"A pretty good start to the week - and a very solid month as well," CommSec market analyst Steven Daghlian told AAP.

For October, the ASX200 gained 389 points, or 6.01 per cent - its second-best performance this year. In March the benchmark rallied 450 points, or 6.39 per cent.

"There are a few things at play, but I think the fact that maybe central banks are getting closer to that point where ... the most aggressive rate hikes are behind them or getting closer to being the case, I think that's been helpful," said Mr Daghlian.

Both the Reserve Bank of Australia and the Bank of Canada have delivered smaller-than-expected rate hikes in recent weeks, although there's some thought the RBA might return to 50 basis point hikes at its board meeting on Tuesday.

Both the US Federal Reserve and the Bank of England are expected to stay the course with aggressive rate hikes this week, but the Fed's commentary in particular will be important, to see if it talks of less aggressive tightening in the coming months, Mr Daghlian said.

On Monday, every sector of the ASX was up except for energy. Consumer discretionary shares were the biggest gainers, rising 2.7 per cent after the Australian Bureau of Statistics disclosed that retail turnover was up 0.6 per cent last month.

"Spending by Aussie consumers has remained quite resilient under the circumstances, with spending rising more than what the market was anticipating in September, particularly in supermarkets and people eating out at cafes and restaurants," Mr Daghlain said.

The additional public holiday to mourn the death of the Queen created more opportunities for spending, he added.

Just Jeans and Peter Alexander owner Premier Investments gained 5.6 per cent to $25.03, Harvey Norman added 3.2 per cent to $4.16, Target and Bunnings owner Wesfarmers gained 3.2 per cent to $45.46, and Kathmandu owner KMD Brands rose 4.9 per cent to 97c.

Elsewhere, Graincorp soared 7.9 per cent to $8.37 after Russia withdrew from a United Nations-brokered deal that let Ukraine export grain through the Black Sea.

All the big banks posted solid gains, with Commonwealth Bank and ANZ both up 1.4 per cent, to $104.68 and $25.56, NAB gaining 1.3 per cent to $32.42, and Westpac adding 0.5 per cent to $24.11. Macquarie added 1.8 per cent to $169.50.

In the mining sector, gains for lithium players offset losses by the iron ore giants and goldminers.

BHP was down 0.3 per cent to $37.36, and Fortescue and Rio Tinto both fell 0.4 per cent, to $14.70 and $88.20, respectively.

Among goldminers, Northern Star dropped 2.1 per cent, Newcrest fell 2.6 per cent and Gold Road was down 3.2 per cent.

But the sector managed a 0.1 per cent gain after Pilbara rose 4.5 per cent, Allkem climbed 2.6 per cent and Mineral Resources added 2.1 per cent.

In tech, EML Payments plunged 35.7 per cent to a nearly decade low of 40.5c after the prepaid card company said it had agreed to stop onboarding new customers in the UK after British authorities raised concerns.

"The hits keep coming on the regulatory front for EML," wrote RBC Capital Markets analyst Garry Sherriff in a research note, adding that this was the third investigation into the company.

But on the flip side, Nitro Software soared 20.2 per cent to a 10-month high of $2.08, following an update on two takeover bids for the PDF software company.

KKR-backed Alludo, a Canada-based software company, is now offering $2 cash per share, meaning Sydney-based Potentia Capital Management will have to raise its $1.80-per-share offer if it wants to stay in the bidding.

The Australian dollar was meanwhile buying 64.19 US cents, from 64.45 US cents at Friday's close.

In cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin was at a six-week high, changing hands for $US20,470 or $A31,880.


* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index on Monday gained 77.8 points to 6863.5, a 1.15 per cent rise.

* The broader All Ordinaries climbed 81.3 points, or 1.17 per cent, to 7054.8.


One Australian dollar buys:

* 64.18 US cents, from 64.45 US cents at Friday's close

* 94.88 Japanese yen, from 94.59 yen

* 64.54 Euro cents, from 64.56 Euro cents

* 55.35 British pence, from 55.98 pence

* 110.21 NZ cents, from 111.04 NZ cents.