The Australian share market has kicked-off the week in positive territory, led by biotechnology giant CSL, retail heavyweight Woolworths and financial stocks.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index was up 0.53 per cent on Monday morning, with all 12 indexes trading in positive territory.
The local market was being led by the big end of town and was following a positive lead from Wall Street, IG market strategist Evan Lucas says.
"It's being driven mainly by defensive (stocks), big end of town, particularly the banks," he said.
In the US, all three key indexes finished stronger on Friday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average closing up 0.29 per cent, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq gaining 0.46 per cent and 0.52 per cent, respectively.
Investors are keenly awaiting a raft of local data, including Australia's closely watched inflation figures due on Wednesday, plus the outcome of the Bank of Japan's meeting and the release of European bank stress test results, both of which are due on Friday.
CSL is the top riser among Australia's 20 biggest companies by market capitalisation, up $1.54 to $120.55.
Meanwhile, investors were probably hoping the worst is over for Woolworths, which on Monday unveiled a major strategy update, including restructuring costs of $959 million, a slowdown of its store rollout and 500 jobs losses, Mr Lucas said.
"Woolworths' news was always going to be positive from a share price perspective despite it, obviously, being negative from an internal idea," he said.
Shares in the retailer, which also operates budget department store chain Big W and liquor chain Dan Murphy's, was up $1.06 at $23.51 in early trade.
Rival Wesfarmers, which runs several chains including Coles, Target and Kmart, was up 34 cents at $42.14.
Within the local financial space, the Commonwealth Bank was up 38 cents at $77.52 and Macquarie Group had gained 30 cents to $74.10.
But resources companies lost ground due to weaker iron ore, copper and oil prices.
Newcrest was down 61 cents at $23.44, Woodside Petroleum had fallen 23 cents to $27.07 and BHP Billiton had lost 10 cents to $19.20.
However, Rio Tinto was up 11 cents at $48.46.
* The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index was up 29.3 points, or 0.53 per cent, at 5,527.5 at 1018 AEST.
* The broader All Ordinaries index was up 28.2 points, or 0.51 per cent, at 5,602.5 points.
* The September share price index futures contract was up 25 points at 5,492 points, with 5,467 contracts traded.
* National turnover was 499 million securities traded, worth $595.3 million.