Australian shares inch higher at start of week
SYDNEY (MarketWatch) — Australian shares advanced modestly in early trading on Monday, with the S&P/ASX 200 index up 0.1% at 4,777.20. U.S. markets ended Friday’s session with gains, with the S&P 500 index rising to a closing level not seen since December 2007, setting the stage for a positive session in Sydney on Monday. Financials were among the best performers, with National Australia Bank Ltd. up 1.8% after a report that Spanish banking giant Santander SA is weighing a bid for NAB’s U.K. branch operations. Elsewhere in the sector, insurer QBE Ltd. gained 2.8% and asset manager AMP Ltd. rose 0.9%.
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