Australian market higher at open

Sydney, Feb 16 (IANS) Australian stocks have continued to rally at Tuesday’s open as the market re-focuses on the local earnings season and improving global sentiment after European equities and commodities rose.

At 10:10 local time, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 22.0 points, or 0.45 percent, at 4,865.5, while the broader All Ordinaries index was up 24.2 points, or 0.49 percent, at 4,917.6, according to Xinhua.

The market is just “petering” along in early trade as investors wait till mid-session when China and Japanese equities come online following Monday’s over-performance after central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan put his foot down saying the yuan won’t be devalued, IG market strategist Evan Lucas said.

“It’s going to be a very light day because there’s not leads from the US, Europe was playing catch-up to what happened the day before, so we are now waiting to see how China and Japan wake up today to actually work,” Lucas said, adding there will be some “big, interesting macro movers” that will impact the local market all week.

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia is the biggest drag on the benchmark at the open, down 3.64 percent as it trades ex-dividend, however ANZ is up 0.57 percent, the National Australia Bank rose 0.40 percent and Westpac is 0.31 percent stronger.

Gains in commodities during the overnight session saw BHP Billiton lifted 1.88 percent, rival Rio Tinto rose 1.49 percent while gold miner Newcrest dropped 3.64 percent as risk sentiment returned and gold fell.

Oil Search added 1.08 percent, Woodside Petroleum is 0.54 percent firmer however Santos slipped 0.47 percent.

Wesfarmers and Woolworths are 0.91 and 0.27 higher respectively.

Qantas gained 0.78 percent and Telstra edged 0.37 percent higher.

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