The Australian share market had a solid start to the trading week, on the back of strong Chinese manufacturing data released on the weekend.
The All Ordinaries Index (XAO) added 52.7pts or 1.03 per cent by close to 5178.
A woman walks past a screen showing market indices in Tokyo, on 22 August.
Energy stocks were among the best performers. In late afternoon trade, the Nymex crude oil contract continued to ease and was buying US$106.28 a barrel. Yet Caltex (CTX) shares rallied by 4.8 per cent to $19.81 and shares in Santos (STO) were firmer by 1.5 per cent to $15.14.
Financial stocks also enjoyed a solid run, with the overall sector up 1 per cent.
One of the market's best performers was troubled surfwear retailer Billabong (BBG). BBG shares rose 14.1 per cent to 48.5c after New York based hedge fund Coastal Capital International, which holds a 5% stake in the company, called for the removal of BBG's company directors. CCI indicated it wanted to ditch and replace the majority of BBG's boards apart from founder Gordon Merchant and majority shareholder Colette Paul.
In local economic news today, the national average Australian price of unleaded petrol rose by 4.1 cents per litre to 153.3 cents a litre in the week to September 1. CommSec expects the national average retail petrol price (pump price) to rise by a further 3 cents a litre in the next 7-10 days.
Dwelling approvals rose by 10.8 per cent in July after falling by a revised by 6.3 per cent in June (previously a 6.9 per cent fall). Approvals are up 28.3 per cent over the year.
On the market overall, a total of 1.7 billion shares changed hands, worth $4.4 billion. 554 were up, 396 were down and 326 were unchanged.
At 4.30pm the SFE 200 Futures Index was at 5184, up 66 pts.
US markets are closed tonight for the Labor Day holiday. The DAX Futures is showing a sharp rise for the German market on open.
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