The Australian share market finished session higher on Monday, 18 May 2020, on the back of Wall Street's lead late last week and on possibility of countries reopening from the coronavirus-led lockdown. However, market gains caped as renewed US-China trade tensions added to concerns about a deep economic slump due to the coronavirus pandemic. At closing bell, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index added 55.69 points, or 1.03%, to 5,460.50. The broader All Ordinaries rose 64.67 points, or 1.18%, to 5,557.50.
Australian shares have kicked off their week sharply higher, with easing COVID-19 restrictions fuelling hopes for a resurgence in consumer demand and gradual economic recovery.
Australia is in the middle of a three-step plan to relax lockdown measures and restart its economy, with its most populous state, New South Wales, easing curbs on Friday.
However, market gains capped amid renewed friction between the United Sates and China over the outbreak, with President Donald Trump suggesting he could even cut ties with Beijing.
The novel coronavirus, which has infected over 4.46 million people and killed more than 301,445, has hammered global economic activity, prompting central banks and governments to unleash massive stimulus measures. Though many governments have started easing restrictions, the move has rekindled concerns of a second wave of infection.
Shares of material sector led the way higher, with BHP, Rio, and Fortescue gained in between 3-6%. Goldminer Newcrest rose more than 5%.
Shares in Village Roadshow have surged after it started takeover talks with private equity firm BGH Capital. Melbourne-based BGH is looking to acquire the cinema and theme park owner for between A$429.4 million and A$468.5 million.
CURRENCY NEWS: The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.6438 following a decline from levels above $0.65 in the previous week.
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