Headline indices of the Australian financial market closed higher for a fifth consecutive session on Monday, 21 January 2019, supported by a continued rise on Wall Street late last week, with shares in consumer discretionary, energy and financial sectors being notable gainers. But the market's topside grew heavy amid wariness about a slowdown in China's economy after weaker than expected key economic data from China and reports that the United States and China were making little progress in their trade negotiations on intellectual property protection. At closing bell, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index added 10.79 points, or 0.2%, to 5,890.38 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index rose 12.33 points, or 0.2%, to 5,953.53 points.
Shares of consumer discretionary sector were the star performer, with Aristocrat Leisure up 3.2% and Super Retail up 2.8%. Flight Centre was up 2.2% followed by Breville up 1.5%.
Shares in banks an financials were higher, with Westpac Banking Corp and Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, rising 0.2% and 0.5% respectively.
National Australia Bank lifted 0.08%, while Commonwealth Bank fell 0.25%.
Energy stocks added 0.5%, helped by strength in crude oil prices. Oil prices rose to their highest in 2019 after data showed refinery processing in China, the world's second-largest oil consumer, climbed to a record in 2018. Santos rose 0.7%, while Origin Energy was up 0.6%.
Major miners were also in the green with BHP up 0.3% after being accused of underpaying a total of up to $300 million in iron ore royalties to the West Australian government dating back to 2004. Fortescue Metals rose 2.6%, while Rio Tinto fell down 0.2%.
CURRENCY: Australian Dollar softened against greenback and against a basket of other peers on Monday. The Australian dollar was quoted at 71.69 US cents from 71.92 US cents on Friday.
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