The ASX had been tipped for an early boost after the major US indices hit new heights overnight amid easing trade tensions and fresh stimulus for the Chinese economy.
For the big miners, BHP shares were up 1.36 per cent at $39.48, while Rio Tinto rose 1.2 per cent to $102.36.
South32 was up 1.87 per cent to $2.73, Fortescue Metals was 1.35 per cent higher at $10.925, and BlueScope Steel rose 0.69 per cent to $15.245.
Westpac led gains for the big four banks, up 1.57 per cent to $24.57.
ANZ was up 1.14 per cent at $24.83, Commonwealth Bank rose 1.43 per cent to $81.02, and NAB dipped 1.3 per cent to $24.89.
Bendigo and Adelaide Bank and Bank of Queensland were up by 0.66 per cent and 1.1 per cent respectively, while Macquarie Group rose 1.61 per cent to $139.74.
Magellan Financial climbed 2.74 per cent to $59.31 and insurers QBE, IAG, and Suncorp climbed by between 0.81 and 1.57 per cent.
Biotech benchmark CSL gained 1.89 per cent to $280.24, with Ramsay Health Care and Sonic Healthcare rising by 1.58 per cent and 2.03 per cent respectively.
The tech sector was a strong early performer thanks to gains by Wisetech, Afterpay, Appen, Altium, Xero and Bravura Solutions – with each company climbing by between 0.57 and 2.66 per cent in the first half hour.
For the industrials, Aurizon, Transurban, Sydney Airport, and Qantas were well in the black, but Virgin Australia slipped by more than 3.0 per cent.
The energy sector, as well as consumer staples, consumer discretionaries, telcos and property trusts, were also trading higher.
Meanwhile, the Australian dollar has fallen back from recent five-month highs and is buying 69.86 US cents, from 70.01 US cents on Thursday.