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Miners, energy giants prop up the ASX

·4-min read

Share market investors started the week with slim gains as the stifling impact of the coronavirus on economic growth make September a stingy month.

Energy and materials shares fared best on Monday to help the ASX be among the top performing markets after a lacklustre Asian session.

Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe is due to speak on Tuesday about the Delta variant, the economy and monetary policy which should be of interest to investors.

Central bank boards are having to reconsider earlier positions on winding back stimulus as the spreading Delta strain extends lockdowns and supply challenges.

Concerns the global economy may be easing is being reflected in share price movements. After 11 months of consecutive gains, the ASX 200 is up just 0.25 per cent this month.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed higher by 18.6 points, or 0.25 per cent, to 7425.2.

The All Ordinaries closed up by 19.9 points, or 0.26 per cent, to 7726.1.

In the US, investors will soon see consumer inflation figures for August.

Wholesale inflation data published late last week caused consternation after prices climbed 8.3 per cent from August 2020.

This was the biggest annual gain since the 12-month number started being calculated in 2010.

Federal Reserve policymakers have said they believe high inflation this year would be temporary and a result of the economy recovering from the pandemic.

However, persistently high inflation could force the Fed's hand to start pulling back on bond-buying and low interest rates sooner than anticipated.

On the ASX, Sydney Airport Corporation is closer to a decision on a takeover offer and will let an investor group examine its books after a higher bid.

A group of superannuation companies has made a third bid for the airport of $8.75 per stapled security ($23.6 billion), up from a previous bid of $8.45 bid per security.

Securities were trading higher by 4.63 per cent to $8.37.

Santos and Woodside closed more than one per cent higher as concerns linger for oil production following Hurricane Ida in the Gulf of Mexico.

Oil prices were higher due in part to the August hurricane and expectations fuel demand will improve from its coronavirus setback.

Mining giants Fortescue and Rio Tinto were up by more than two per cent early but eased for the remainder of the day.

Fortescue gained 0.77 per cent while Rio slipped 0.19 per cent. BHP was up 0.56 per cent to $41.48.

Property shares had the biggest loss, 0.43 per cent.

A Qantas plan to resume flights between Australia and Japan has been grounded after the competition watchdog said it would reduce competition.

Qantas and Japan Airlines last year proposed co-operating on flights between Sydney, Melbourne and Tokyo as airlines struggled due to international coronavirus restrictions.

Yet the competition regulator said the two airlines were rivals before the pandemic and a tie-up would greatly affect the market.

Shares in Qantas closed down 0.19 per cent to $5.31.

Data analytics software vendor Nuix will buy all the shares in US company Topos Labs.

Topos makes language-processing software which helps computers interpret spoken words.

Shares were up 3.36 per cent to $2.77.

The big banks were mixed. The Commonwealth was best and higher by 0.21 per cent to $101.30.

Women's clothing retailer City Chic said its chief financial officer has resigned to follow other professional interests.

Munraj Dhaliwal will depart at the end of 2021 following three years at the company.

Shares were down 2.65 per cent to $6.25.

The Australian dollar was buying 73.54 US cents at 1724 AEST, lower than 73.79 US cents at Friday's close.

ON THE ASX

* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed higher by 18.6 points, or 0.25 per cent, to 7425.2 on Monday.

* The All Ordinaries closed up by 19.9 points, or 0.26 per cent, to 7726.1.

* At 1724 AEST, the SPI200 futures index was up six points, or 0.08 per cent, at 7441 points.

CURRENCY SNAPSHOT

One Australian dollar buys:

* 73.54 US cents, from 73.79 cents on Friday

* 81.00 Japanese yen, from 81.30 yen

* 62.43 Euro cents, from 62.44 cents

* 53.27 British pence, from 53.32 pence

* 103.48 NZ cents, from 103.56 cents.

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