The Australian share market has gained ground for the second straight day on the back of a strong lead from European markets and higher iron ore prices.

The S&P/ASX200 finished 1.06 per cent higher at 6007.8 while the All Ordinaries Index lifted 0.98 per cent to 6190.2

Iron ore miner Fortescue Metals Group rose 3.47 per cent to $18.50, Rio Tinto added 1.37 per cent to $99.28 and BHP was up 0.94 per cent at $37.41.

CSL shares were higher for the second consecutive day after the company announced on Monday it would manufacture two potential coronavirus vaccines under agreements with the Federal Government and UK-based AstraZeneca next year, if clinical trials proved successful.

Shares in the healthcare heavyweight were up 2.14 per cent at $288.18.

Another standout performer was Westfield shopping centres operator Scentre Group, which reported it had collected 86 per cent of monthly gross rental billings in August, up from 82 per cent last month and its best result since February.

The lowest rate was 28 per cent in April at the height of the coronavirus pandemic’s first wave.

Shares in Scentre gained 4.12 per cent to $2.27.

Sydney Airport went backwards, shedding 2.78 per cent to $5.58 after announcing it had raised cash from a share issue at a discounted price.

Chairman Trevor Gerber said the capital raising would “enhance our financial resilience in these challenging times and ensure that we are strongly positioned when the recovery emerges”.

ANZ added 1.27 per cent to $18.36, Commonwealth Bank put on 1.66 per cent to $68.49, National Australia Bank lifted 1.65 per cent to $17.90 and Westpac gained 1.61 per cent to $17.66.

Bunnings owner Wesfarmers inched 0.41 per cent higher to $46.20, airline Qantas jumped 4.34 per cent to $4.09 and Telstra gained 1.39 per cent to $2.92.

The Aussie dollar was fetching 72.99 US cents, 55.52 British pence and 61.74 Euro cents in afternoon trade.

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