Australian shares have struggled for momentum on Monday after falling to their worst week in more than two years as energy and mining stocks countered gains in banks.

The ASX 200 closed down 41 points, or 0.6 per cent to 6,433.

At the same time, the Australian dollar was up at 69.67 US cents.

The benchmark sank 1.8 per cent on Friday in its sixth straight session of falls.

Mining stocks fell about 5.1 per cent after benchmark iron ore prices extended losses on Friday as Chinese steel mills opted to reduce output amid weak profits and deteriorating demand prospects.

Sector heavyweights BHP, Rio Tinto and Fortescue skidded between 5.1 per cent and 8.6 per cent, with Fortescue touching its lowest level since March 17.

Energy stocks fell 5.2 per cent to be the biggest laggards on the main index, after oil prices dropped on Friday on worries that interest rate hikes by major central banks could cut energy demand.

Sector heavyweights Woodside Energy and Santos skidded 4.9 per cent and 6 per cent respectively.

Financials rose 0.6 per cent after a nine-session losing streak, with the "Big Four" banks trading in positive territory.

The Commonwealth Bank, the country's biggest lender, led gains with a 0.3 per cent rise, while Westpac was flat.

Among individual stocks, Infomedia jumped 7.4 per cent and was headed for its best day since May 16 after receiving a $638.8 million buyout proposal from US-based software company Solera Holdings LLC.

Among the top movers were Pointsbet (+18.6pc), Harvey Norman (+4.5pc) and Home Consortium (+5.6pc).

Meanwhile, Lake Resources (-13.7pc), Bega Cheese (-8.1pc), De Grey Mining (-10.2pc) and Beach Energy (-8.3pc) were among the worst performers.

Brent crude oil was up, trading at $US113.51 a barrel, by 4:38pm AEST.

Medium Brush Stroke

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