By RTT News, October 24, 2013, 10:04:00 PM EDT
(RTTNews.com) - The Australian stock market is trading firm on Friday, with investors tracking cues from Wall Street where the major averages surged higher overnight on some upbeat earnings news.
Energy, mining, telecommunications and financial stocks are among the notable gainers.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index is trading at 5,396.5, up 23.6 points or 0.4 percent from its previous close. The broader All Ordinaries index is up 22.6 points or 0.4 percent at 5,396.3.
Among bank stocks, ANZ Bank, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, National Australia Bank and Westpac (WBK) are up 0.5 to 1 percent. Bendigo & Adelaide Bank is up 1.5 percent, while Bank of Queensland is trading weak, losing about 0.6 percent.
Among top miners, BHP Billiton (BHP), Rio Tinto (RIO) and Fortescue Metals are trading modestly higher, while Newcrest Mining is adding 1.3 percent.
In the energy sector, Origin Energy is trading higher by 3.2 percent and Caltex Australia is up 2.5 percent. Santos is up nearly 2 percent, Woodside Petroleum is up 0.8 percent and Oil Search is up marginally.
Whitehaven Coal is gaining 3.5 percent. Twenty-First Century Fox, James Hardie Industries, Downer EDI, Lend Lease Group, Duet Group, Qantas Airways and Aristocrat Leisure are advancing 1 to 2 percent.
Meanwhile, ResMed Inc ( RMD ) is down more than 6 percent. Carsales.Com is losing about 5.4 percent. AMP is down 4.6 percent.
Asciano shares are down 3.6 percent following a warning of slower growth this year. PanAust, Boral, Flight Centre and Leighton Holdings are down 1 to 1.4 percent.
In the currency market, the Australian dollar opened lower against the U.S. dollar. In early trades, the local unit was quoting at US$0.9617, down 0.5 percent from Thursday's close of US$0.9666.
On Wall Street, stocks ended on a firm note on Thursday on the back of upbeat earnings news from Ford (F) and 3M ( MMM ), and on a report showing a bigger than expected drop in jobless claims.
The Dow jumped 95.9 points or 0.6 percent to 15,509.2, the Nasdaq climbed 21.9 points or 0.6 percent to 3,929 and the S&P 500 rose 5.7 points or 0.3 percent to 1,752.1.
Major European markets too moved higher on Thursday. While the French CAC 40 index climbed 0.4 percent, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 index and the German DAX index advanced by 0.6 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively.
U.S. crude oil snapped a two-day loss to end higher on Thursday, on renewed demand prospects after some upbeat manufacturing data out of China. Crude for December delivery ended up $0.25 or 0.3 percent at $97.11 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange after scaling a high of $97.69 a barrel intraday.
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