Gains for financials, energy and gold miners helped buoy Australian stocks early Monday, overcoming the drag from the senior miners and iron-ore plays, The S&P/ASX 200 was up 0.4% about an hour into trade, though with Chinese import and export data due out later in the day holding the potential to move the market significantly. Shares of Australia & New Zealand Banking Group , National Australia Bank Ltd. and Commonwealth Bank of Australia all rose 0.4% apiece, while Macquarie Group Ltd. rallied 1.1%. Moves on the commodity markets helped lift gold miners (Newcrest Mining Ltd. up 3.3%, Evolution Mining Ltd. up 2.8%) and oil stocks (Santos Ltd. up 2.5%, Woodside Petroleum Ltd. up 1%, and Oil Search Ltd. up 2.3% after a UBS upgrade to buy from neutral). Yet further losses for iron ore dragged Arrium Ltd. down 3.3%, while Atlas Iron Ltd. remained untraded after announcing late Friday it would shutter its operations due to the weak prices. BHP Billiton Ltd. fell 0.9%, and Rio Tinto Ltd. lost 0.8%, after the two said Friday they were the subject of an Australian tax-avoidance probe. And in the media space, Seven Group Holdings Ltd. retreated 1.4% after news the company's chief executive was retiring at the end of August.
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