By RTT News,
December 16, 2013, 08:49:00 PM EDT
(RTTNews.com) - The Australian stock market is trading higher on Tuesday with investors picking up stocks, tracking cues from the U.S. and European markets, where the major averages surged higher overnight on the back of some upbeat economic reports.
Consumer staples, financial, information technology and industrial stocks are mostly trading higher. Mining and energy stocks are trading mixed.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index, which rose to 5,134.7, is currently trading at 5,108.6, up 19 points or 0.4 percent from its previous close. The broader All Ordinaries index is up 19.5 points or 0.4 percent at 5,112.6, off the day's high of 5,136.4.
Among bank stocks, ANZ Bank, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, National Australia Bank and Westpac (WBK) are up 0.5 to 1.2 percent. Bank of Queensland and Bendigo & Adelaide Bank are up 0.6 percent and 0.2 percent, respectively.
Among top miners, Rio Tinto (RIO) is up 0.8 percent and BHP Billiton (BHP) is trading flat.
Fortescue Metals is trading higher by 3.2 percent. James Hardie Industries, Mineral Resources, Aurizon Holdings, Cochlear, Sonic Healthcare and Asciano are up 2 to 2.4 percent.
Adelaide Brighton is adding nearly 2 percent. Macquarie Group, Ansell, Henderson Group, Flight Centre Travel Group, Ramsay Healthcare and Wesfarmers are also up sharply.
Meanwhile, UGL, APA Group and Insurance Australia Group shares are down by about 4 percent. WorleyParsons is trading lower by 2.2 percent. Newcrest Mining and Seek are also trading notably lower.
On the economic front, the total number of new motor vehicle sales in Australia was up a seasonally adjusted 1.8 percent in November compared to the previous month, coming in at 94,978, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Tuesday. That was shy of forecasts for 2.5 percent following the 0.7 percent decline in October. On a yearly basis, sales were down 0.5 percent after shedding 3.1 percent in the previous month.
Meanwhile, the Conference Board's Leading Economic Index for Australia was up 0.5 percent in October, the Board reported. It marked the second consecutive month of gains for the LEI. The Board's Coincident Index also increased, rising 0.2 percent for October.
The Board said gains in the building approvals, stock prices and yield spread categories led the Leading Index gains.
The Conference Board said that "taken together, the relatively steady and balanced growth in both the LEI and CEI suggests that the current rate of economic expansion is likely to continue through the first half of 2014.
In the currency market, the Australian dollar opened slightly weak against the U.S. dollar. In early trades, the local unit was quoting at US$0.8951, down marginally from Monday's close of US$0.8954.
On Wall Street, stocks ended notably higher on Monday, due largely to upbeat industrial production data and some hectic bargain hunting at several counters. Though buying interest waned after an initial rally, the markets maintained a positive bias throughout the trading session.
The Dow advanced 129.2 points or 0.8 percent to 15,884.6, the Nasdaq climbed 28.5 points or 0.7 percent to 4,029.5 and the S&P 500 rose 11.2 points or 0.6 percent to 1,786.5.
Major European markets too closed on a firm note Monday. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 index jumped by 1.3 percent, while the French CAC 40 index and the German DAX index surged up by 1.5 percent and 1.7 percent, respectively.
U.S. crude oil ended higher on Monday, even as investors awaited the outcome from the U.S. Federal Reserve policy review meet beginning Tuesday, anticipating a cut to its $85 billion monthly bond-buying program. Investors also weighed some largely positive economic data out of the U.S. and Europe, with a weak dollar further supporting oil prices.
Crude for January delivery ended up $0.88 or 0.9 percent at $97.48 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
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