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Aust stocks higher on US data, commodities

Reported by AAP
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Topics in this article:
Asx,Australia And New Zealand Banking,Bhp Billiton,Commonwealth Bank Of Australia.,Metcash,National Australia Bank,Rio Tinto
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The Australian market has opened stronger due to firm commodity prices and positive manufacturing data from the US.

At 1012 AEST on Tuesday, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 11.5 points, or 0.27 per cent, at 4,340.8, while the broader All Ordinaries index was up 10.9 points, or 0.25 per cent, at 4,427.3.

On the ASX 24, the June share price index futures contract was 16 points higher at 4,349, with 9,769 contracts traded.

Australian Stock Report head of research Geoff Saffer said defensive sectors were a bit weaker in morning trade.

"Commodity prices did firm last night which will, obviously, support our market today and manufacturing data in the US was positive last night," Mr Saffer said.

"Those are the two main issues that will support the market this morning."

He said he expected traders to be cautious until the release of February retail sales data at 1130 AEST and the Reserve Bank of Australia's (RBA) interest rate announcement at 1430 AEST.

"Traders will be a little bit gun-shy just waiting on, not just the decision, but the commentary," he said.

US stocks started the second quarter on a high note after US manufacturing data picked up more than expected.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 52.45 points (0.40 per cent) on the first trading day of the quarter to finish at 13,264.49.

World oil prices surged on the US manufacturing data and base metals also closed higher.

Locally, resources stocks opened strongly with shares in Australia's biggest miner BHP Billiton up 23 cents, or 0.6 per cent, at $35.35 and Rio Tinto up 99 cents, or 1.5 per cent, at $67.18.

The major financial stocks were fairly flat, with ANZ shares down one cent at $23.05 and Westpac shares were flat at $21.72. However, National Australia Bank shares were eight cents higher at $23.05 and Commonwealth Bank shares were up one cent at $49.96.

In company news, Franklins owner and grocery wholesaler Metcash will shed 478 jobs as it restructures its business in response to difficult trading conditions.

Metcash shares were 12 cents, or 2.8 per cent, lower, at $4.18.

The spot price of gold in Sydney was $US1676.45 per fine ounce, up $US7.20 from Monday's local close of $US1,669.25.

Newcrest, Australia's largest gold miner, was 13 cents higher at $29.65.

At 1015 AEST, local national turnover was 104.1 million securities worth $170.3 million, with 202 stocks up, 122 down and 192 unchanged.

26/10/2014 03:45Sydney, Australia. 26 October,2014
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