The local share market is performing very strongly at lunchtime in the East, clawing back from yesterday's heavy losses which were exacerbated by concerns out of China and the fact 22 listed companies traded without rights to their dividends.
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, February 23, 2011.
The Shanghai Composite in China fell almost 4% yesterday after the Chinese government moved to tighten regulations in a bid to curb rising property prices. The Australian share market was down 1.4% yesterday, however Wall Street shrugged off the Chinese concerns, with the Dow Jones closing near all time highs.
Locally, banks are leading the gains, ahead of this afternoon's interest rate decision, where it's widely expected the RBA will leave the official cash rate at 3%.The financial sector is firmer by 2.4%.
Index leader BHP Billiton (BHP) continues to underperform after falling heavily yesterday as it traded without rights to its dividend. After falling by 0.3% in early trade, BHP is flat at lunchtime.
The utilities sector is the worst performing, down 0.8%.
In economic data today, retail spending rose by a better than expected 0.9% in January, after three months of declines in the sector.
The Australian dollar has also clawed back ground, ahead of the RBA rate decision. After falling to US101.3c yesterday afternoon, its lowest level since July 2012, the Aussie is back above US102c.
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