The Australian share market closed at its highest level in just over six weeks, driven by a stronger materials and energy sector.

It was the local market's seventh consecutive positive trading day.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 40.7 points, or 0.85 per cent, to 4,807.9 points, while the broader All Ordinaries Index gained 46.2 points, or 0.97 per cent, to 4,819.6 points.

On the Sydney Futures Exchange at 1616 AEDT, the March share price index contract was 30 points higher at 4,805 points, on volume of 30,649 contracts.

It was the best finish for the S&P/ASX200 index since January 21 when it closed at 4827 points.

IG Markets analyst Chris Weston said the local market had experienced another positive trading day with the debt problems of Greece priced into the market.

"It does seem like people have been happy to drive those prices back above 4,800, which is quite positive because we were below it at one stage," Mr Weston said said.

"The news stories we're seeing today are very positive and we've had M&A activity with Arrow Energy.

"The materials sector and the energy sector does seem to be the area of leadership in our market today."

BHP Billiton closed up $1.01, or 2.38 per cent, to $43.51 after it announced that it had reached terms for much of its coking coal sales for 2010, involving switching to "shorter-term, market-based pricing."

Among the major energy companies, Woodside rose 73 cents, or 1.64 per cent, to $45.25, Santos was up 40 cents, or 2.98 per cent, to $13.83 and Oil Search jumped 33 cents, or 6.3 per cent, to $5.57.

At 1628 AEDT, the spot price of gold in Sydney was US$1,134.80 per fine ounce, up US$1.17 from Friday's closing price of US$1,133.63 per ounce.

Lihir Gold was up three cents to $2.94, while fellow gold miner Newcrest Mining was 37 cents firmer at $34.34.

In news on Monday, energy giants Royal Dutch Shell and PetroChina have launched a joint takeover bid for Arrow Energy that values the coal seam gas company at up to $3.85 billion.

Arrow closed up $1.63, or 46.84 per cent, to $5.11.

Shares in oil and coal seam gas producer Bow Energy jumped 27 cents, or 27.55 per cent, to $1.25 on news it had substantially increased its oil and gas reserves.

Centrebet International rose 15 cents, or 10.14 per cent, to $1.63 after it announced that it would allow punters to bet on movements in the S&P/ASX200 index.

Virgin Blue will commence flights from Sydney to Uluru in August, challenging Qantas Airways which currently has the route all to itself.

Virgin Blue rose 1.5 cents to 70.5 cents while Qantas rose two cents to $2.79.

The big four banks closed mostly lower.

Commonwealth Bank fell 28 cents to $54.82, NAB was down 17 cents to $26.33, ANZ dropped three cents to $23.80 and Westpac rose eight cents to $26.83.

Technology hardware and equipment company pieNETWORKS was the top traded stock by volume, with 121.86 million shares changing hands for $2.92 million.

Its stock firmed 1.3 cents, or 108.33 per cent, to 2.5 cents.

Preliminary national turnover reached 2.26 billion shares, worth $4.91 billion, with 642 stocks up, 426 down and 347 unchanged.

- AAP