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Aust market opens higher

The Australian share market has opened higher as investors welcome the increased popularity of centrist pro-Euro candidate Emmanuel Macron in the first round of the French presidential election.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 was up 0.43 per cent at 1030 AEST, led by the major banks.

IG market strategist Evan Lucas said the local market had opened positively, reflecting upward movement in futures markets after the initial run-off in the French election.

"There has been a positive sentiment lead from what is likely to be a fairly pro-European, pro-Euro French president (Emmanuel Macron)," Mr Lucas said.

Wall Street closed slightly lower on Friday amid investor caution ahead of the French poll and US president Donald Trump's tax plan announcement expected on Wednesday.

On the local market, the big four banks - Westpac, ANZ, Commonwealth and National Australia Bank - were 0.84 per cent to 0.98 per cent higher, led by Westpac.

In the resources sector, global miner BHP Billiton was down by 0.08 per cent, Rio Tinto was up 0.2 per cent, and Fortescue Metals was off 1.01 per cent.

Lotteries and wagering firm Tatts Group was up 1.5 cents, or 0.34 per cent, to $4.435 after it received a revised indicative takeover bid from private equity group Pacific Consortium, which said its $4.21 a share offer would not be affected if Tatts pays dividends to its shareholders.

Spotless Group was 0.75 cents, or 0.68 per cent, lower at $1.1025 after it rejected a $1.26 billion takeover bid from infrastructure and mining services company Downer EDI, saying the offer does not represent adequate value for shareholders.

Downer EDI was one cent, or 0.18 per cent, lower at $5.62.

Meanwhile, the Australian dollar is stronger against the US dollar as the result of the first round of the French presidential poll encouraged investors towards riskier currencies.

The local currency was trading at 75.66 US cents at 1030 AEST on Monday, from 75.36 US cents on Friday.


* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 was up 25.1 points, or 0.43 per cent, to 5,879.2 points.

* The broader All Ordinaries index was up 22.7 points, or 0.39 per cent, to 5,908.3 points.

* The June SPI200 futures contract was up 30 points, or 0.51 per cent, at 5,868 points.

* National turnover was 326 million securities traded worth $498.5 million.


One Australian dollar buys:

* 75.66 US cents, from 75.36 on Friday

(*Currency closes taken at 1700 AEST previous local session)