Aust stocks open slightly higher

Reported by AAP
Thursday, February 11, 2016
Topics in this article:
Bhp Billiton,Cochlear,Commonwealth Bank Of Australia.,Rio Tinto,Woodside Petroleum,Woolworths,China Magnesium Corporation Limited
Sold for $1.3 million one day, no buyers for $440,000 the nextRundown home shows death of mining boom.

SYDNEY, Feb 11 AAP - The Australian share market has opened slightly higher after calming comments from US Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen.

The S&P/ASX200 was up 0.4 per cent but gains across the market at 1020 AEDT were tempered by the energy and mining giants.

BHP was down 18 cents, 1.2 per cent at $15.47 and Rio Tinto was up 12 cents or 0.3 per cent at $41.63. Rio will report its full year results later on Thursday.

Woodside petroleum was down nine cents, or 0.3 per cent to $26.39.

The big banks were all trading higher, mostly under one per cent.

The Commonwealth Bank, fresh off another record half-year profit, was up 17 cents, or 0.23 per cent at $74.37.

Suncorp bank was bucking the positive trend in the sector, down 25 cents, or 2.3 per cent at $10.45.

Suncorp on Thursday reported a first half profit drop of 16 per cent to $530 million due to the cost of settling natural disaster claims in NSW and Queensland.

CMC Markets analyst Ric Spooner said nerves had been calmed by US Federal Reserve head Ms Yellen's testimony last night.

"She recognises that current market volatility could have a negative impact on the US economy and therefore delay Fed rate hikes," Mr Spooner said.

"From the market's point of view, I think it was just comforting to hear that expressed."

But Mr Spooner said, Ms Yellen's statements were not conclusive.

"Things are very volatile at the moment," he said.

"The market is very focused on the fall of oil prices, the rising Japanese Yen - which is also continuing with high momentum - and so I think we'll have a 'wait and see' approach.

"You've got to be open to all possibilities in the market today."

Retail giant Woolworths looked healthier than the previous morning, up half a per cent to $22.47.

Shares in hearing implant provider Cochlear briefly popped above $100 each after the company lifted its first-half profit by 32 per cent, increased its dividend and raised its full-year earnings guidance.

KEY FACTS:

* At 1020 AEDT, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 19.4 points, or 0.41 per cent, at 4,795.1 points.

* The broader All Ordinaries index was up 18.8 points, or 0.39 per cent, at 4,845.3 points.

* The March share price index futures contract was down 34 points at 4,744 points, with 11,561 contracts traded.

* Turnover was 586 million securities traded worth $649 million.

01/05/2016 06:44Sydney, Australia. 1 May,2016
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