Australian stocks closed stronger on Monday, although off session highs, as upticks in commodity prices lifted miners and oil companies, while financial shares offered a helping hand. The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 43.791 points or 0.76 percent to 5,771.2 at the close of trade. Majors BHP Billiton Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals Group led gains as iron ore prices climbed.
Iron ore traded on the Dalian Commodity Exchange jumped more than 3 percent on Monday, while Chinese steel futures hit a nine-week peak. Reports that an OPEC-led supply cut may not only be extended into next year but might also be deepened to tighten the market and prop up prices lifted oil prices in Asian trading, extending Friday’s gains.
Oil majors Woodside Petroleum and Oil Search rose accordingly, with the energy index ending 2.15 percent higher. Origin Energy was also among the top performers on the index, closing 3.95 percent higher.
Gains in financials were led by Commonwealth Bank of Australia rising 1.3 percent and Westpac Banking Corp up 0.8 percent. The financials index ended 0.58 percent higher.
New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.24 percent or 17.39 points to finish the session at 7,409.500. Gains were led by telecom shares, with Spark New Zealand up 2.9 percent, and Chorus up 1.8 percent.