The Australian share market is moving higher for a second straight session, despite weakness on Wall Street overnight as the US government shutdown entered its second day. This morning our time, US President Obama and Congress have been holding talks in an effort to reach agreement over the budget impasse.
The main indicator of the Australian Securities Exchange (bottom R) is seen in red shortly after the local market opened in Central Sydney October 4, 2011. Australian stocks eased 0.6 percent on Tuesday, pressured by falls in global equities markets in a fresh flight from riskier assets, but losses were limited after steep declines on Monday. REUTERS/Daniel Munoz (AUSTRALIA - Tags: BUSINESS)
In economic news, China's non-manufacturing (services) PMI rose to a reading of 55.4pts in September versus a reading of 53.9 in August.
The Australian Performance of Services Index (PSI) rose 8.1 points in September to a reading of 47.1 points. The PSI has been below a level of 50 - separating expansion from contraction - since January 2012. The September 2013 result was the highest reading since March this year.
On the market, financial and energy players are leading the gains with both sectors firmer by around one per cent.
Heading the other way is shares in construction giant Leighton Holdings (LEI). The company is at the centre of newspaper allegations of corruption and bribery amongst top executives. LEI shares are down 9.4 per cent at lunchtime to $17.75.
Retailer David Jones (DJS) shares are down 3.2 per cent to $2.855 as the company trades without rights to its dividend.
On the market overall, a total of 750 million shares have so far changed hands, worth $1.4 billion. 428 are up, 351 are down and 285 are unchanged.
At 12.30pm AEST the Dow Futures Index is at 14, 961 points suggesting a fall of 64 points or 0.4 per cent when Wall Street opens later tonight.
The Chinese and South Korean share markets are closed today for public holidays.
The Australian dollar is buying US93.92c, £0.5785 and €68.98c.
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