(Adds details, comments, stocks on the move)
SYDNEY, May 20 (Reuters) - Australian shares climbed 1.1 percent on Monday in a broad rally after upbeat U.S. economic data pushed Wall Street to record highs and as stocks with large exposure to the U.S. market gained on a weaker Australian dollar.
"It's a broadbased rally, the overnight news was very positive and indicators are strong," said Martin Lakos, division director at Macquarie Bank.
"So we expect the market to hold at these levels."
Companies with largely U.S. dollar-based earnings benefit when profits gained abroad are repatriated.
Insurance firm QBE Insurance Ltd (Other OTC: QBEIF - news) jumped 2.6 percent while pallets suplier Brambles Ltd (Other OTC: BMBLF - news) rallied 1.4 percent. Westfield Group (Other OTC: WEFIF - news) added 1.6 percent and ResMed Inc (NYSE: RMD - news) rose 0.8 percent.
The Australian dollar clawed back from a near one-year low against the U.S. dollar on Monday, but risks more losses if growing signs of an improving U.S. economy further boosts the greenback.
Global iron ore miners edged higher as copper rose on the back of tentative signs of improved metals demand in top consumer China. BHP Billiton Ltd and Rio Tinto Ltd (Xetra: 855018 - news) jumped 1.5 percent and 1 percent respectively.
But gold miners lost ground as bullion fell for a seventh session after Federal Reserve officials said the central bank should end its stimulus for the U.S. economy. Newcrest Mining (Other OTC: NCMGY - news) Ltd slipped 0.3 percent while Regis Resources Ltd fell 0.6 percent.
New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index rose 0.3 percent or 13 points to 4,610.8.
U.S. stocks continued their climb into uncharted territory on Friday, racking up a fourth week of gains in a row as encouraging economic data prompted investors to pick up shares of growth companies.
STOCKS ON THE MOVE
* Leighton Holdings Ltd soared 3.6 percent to A$18.67 after Australia's biggest construction company affirmed its earnings guidance to deliver a full year of underlying net profit after tax (NPAT) of $520 to $600 million at its annual general meeting on Monday.
* Energy World Corporation Ltd rocketed 15.7 percent to an 8-month high of A$0.48 after the company released a report indicating traces of hydrocarbons have been found in its Sheoak 2 oil and gas exploration well.
* Grange Resources Ltd surged 11.4 percent to A$0.195 after Chief Executive Richard Mehan told local Fairfax media that the recent 8 percent fall in the Australian dollar would probably cause a significant 40 percent lift in the mining company's earnings.
(0124 GMT) (Reporting by Thuy Ong; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)