MID-SESSION REPORT(11.45am AEST)
Australian shares have opened higher, following Wall Street´s gains overnight.
Daniel Munoz / Reuters
Office workers are reflected on a screen display as they walk past the Australian Securities Exchange in this file photo
Markets are being encouraged be several factors including the improving growth pulse coming out of China and suggestions that the US Fed could start with a smaller number in relation to the scaling back Q.E.
The ASX200 was trading towards its best levels for much of the morning on Tuesday, although volumes were on the low side
Later this afternoon (15:30 AEDT) Investors will turn their attention to further Chinese economic data with the release of retail sales, industrial production and fixed asset investment for August due. Positive outcomes on this front will likely consolidate the positive tone of the morning.
Corporate news has been thin on the ground on Tuesday, although rural services company Elders (ASX:ELD) grabbed headlines after it said it will slash its staff by 10 per cent as part of more than $25 million in company cuts. ELD shares were up one and a half cents, or 15 per cent, at 11 cents. It could be said that resource stocks were benefiting from the better news flow from China and an easier US dollar, which could be supportive for commodity prices if the trend continues on the back of the smaller taper conversation.
BHP Billiton gained 35 cents or 1 per cent to $36.00, and Rio Tinto was 91 cents or 1.5% higher at $62.90, Iron ore miner Fortescue rose 5.5 cents or 5.5% to $4.50.
Financials were seeing solid buying. Yesterday's better than expected housing finance figures were suggestive of a turning point in relation to household attitudes towards taking on credit.
Business confidence improved from a previous reading of -3pts to +6pts in August. Business conditions lifted from -7pts to -6pts. The Australian dollar gained some ground following the data.
At lunch 582.5 million shares have changed hands, worth $1.3 billion. 423 stocks are higher, 314 are in the red, 302 are flat.
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