RTTNews - The Australian market continued its northward momentum and ended higher on Monday on increasing optimism that the worst for the global is over. Almost all the sectors except property trusts gained during the trading session.

In the U.S., stocks ended on a mixed note, with the Dow Industrials and the S&P 500 Index ending higher, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq ended in negative territory following disappointing numbers from bellwether Microsoft Corp. (MSFT).

Traders shrugged off a mixed report from Reuters and the University of Michigan, which showed that their reading on consumer sentiment for the month of July was upwardly revised from the preliminary reading but still came in well below the previous month. The report said that the consumer sentiment index for July came in at 66.0 compared to the preliminary reading of 64.6, although it remained below a reading of 70.8 for June. Economists had expected the index to be revised up to 65.0.

While the Nasdaq slipped by 7.64 points or 0.4% to 1,966, the Dow climbed 23.95 points or 0.3% to 9,093 and the S&P 500 rose by 2.97 points or 0.3% to 979.

The All Ordinaries Index opened unchanged from its previous close at 4,097 and marched northwards on increasing confidence about recovery prospects. Higher commodity prices in anticipation of rise in demand helped build on the gains before ending with a gain of 50.50 points, or 1.23% at 4,148. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index also followed a similar trend and ended at 4,149, representing a gain of 49.20 points, or 1.22%.

Light sweet crude oil for September delivery ended the Asian trading session at $68.68,up $0.63 from its previous close in New York at $68.05 a barrel on Friday.

Mining stocks led the gains in the market. Rio Tinto advanced 3.81%, BHP Billiton added 0.91%, Fortescue Metals gained 3.23%, Gindalbie Metals surged up 8.93%, Minara Resources rose 3.91% and Mincor Resources increased 5.97%. However, Oz Minerals lost 2.17% on profit taking.

Macarthur Coal, the world's biggest exporter of pulverized coal, slipped 1.97% following news that the company is in discussions with steel mills in China for long term sales contracts.

Oil stocks edged higher on rising crude oil prices. Woodside Petroleum added 0.10%, Oil Search Ltd rose 0.72% and Santos advanced 0.75%.

Banking stocks also ended higher on recovery hopes. ANZ Bank added 0.77%, Commonwealth Bank Australia advanced 1.06%, National Australia Bank gained 0.72% and Westpac Banking rose 0.65%. Macquarie Group surged up 4.88%.

Gold stocks showed mixed trend. While Lihir Gold slipped 0.36% , Sino Gold gained 2.25% and Newcrest Mining edged up 0.23%.

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