ASX jumps in early trade

Australian shares have jumped more than 1.0 per cent in early trade helped by a strong lead from US markets on hopes of a coronavirus treatment.

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark index was higher by 80.6 points, or 1.36 per cent, at 5999.8 points after 15 minutes of trade on Monday.

The All Ordinaries index was 80.8 points, or 1.34 per cent higher, at 6117.1.

The energy sector led the pack, up by 2.46 per cent.

Financials were also doing very well, higher by 2.26 per cent.

Property and consumer discretionary had gains of 2.37 and 2.08 per cent respectively.

The spritely start comes after Wall Street ended higher on Friday after confirmation that Gilead Science’s drug remdesivir could reduce the risk of death in severely sick coronavirus patients.

Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration has provisionally approved the drug for use.

That helped the Dow Jones Industrial Average climb 1.4 per cent, the Nasdaq composite added 0.7 per cent, while the S&P 500 rose 1.05 per cent.

In Australia, investors will be keeping a close watch on on a COVID-19 outbreak in Sydney’s south-west. Nine cases have been confirmed from the Casula suburb, most of these from a hotel.

Melbourne remains in the early stages of a six-week lockdown after outbreaks spread rapidly.

The Australian dollar was buying 69.43 US cents at 1015 AEST, higher from 69.30 US cents at the close of trade on Friday.

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