Australian Stock Market Report – Midday 4/15/14

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By Juliette Saly, CommSec Market Analyst | April 15, 2014 12:55 PM EST

MID-SESSION REPORT
(12pm AEST)

Strong rebound in early trade.

The local share market is trading higher in the early session, rebounding from Friday and Monday's hefty losses thanks to strong gains on Wall Street overnight.

Reuters
Wall Street (Photo: Reuters)

Despite a volatile last hour of trade, investors bought back into technology and blue-chip stocks, seeing markets in the US close near the highs of the day.

On our market, every sector is moving higher in the early session, with info tech stocks coming back after two sessions of profit taking. The S&P 200 Info Technology sector (XIJ) is the strongest sector, up 1.3 per cent.

Rio Tinto (RIO) has blamed bad weather for hampering its first quarter production. The world's second largest iron ore producer reported a 6pct drop in quarterly production of the commodity to 66.4 million metric tonnes. However output was up 8pct on the prior year. Copper output fell 6pct in the quarter to 156,000 tonnes. RIO shares are up 0.6 per cent in the early session to $63.63.

Oz Minerals (OZL) which focuses on copper and gold mining in South Australia, produced 18,182 tonnes of copper in the period, above expectations. OZL shares rose sharply in the early session and are firmer by 3.5 per cent at lunchtime to $3.88.

In economic news today, the Reserve Bank of Australia has released its monthly minutes from the April board meeting, noting that there have been "promising signs" of home building and consumer spending in the economy which have offset weaker mining investment and public spending. The RBA said the "most prudent course was likely to be a period of stability in interest rates".

The minutes have seen the Aussie dollar ease against the greenback. Earlier this morning one Australian dollar was worth US94.23c and at midday in the East the Aussie is worth US93.97c.

So far on the market, 465 million shares have changed hands, worth $1.3 billion. 454 were up, 221 were down and 247 were unchanged.

Japan's NIKKEI Index us up one per cent while the Shanghai Composite is down 0.5 per cent.

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(Photo: Reuters / )
Wall Street (Photo: Reuters)
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