AUST STOCKS OPEN HIGHER
By AAP | 08.03.2013 10:41 AM
Australian shares remain near four-and-a-half year highs, pushed up by a fifth straight day of gains on Wall Street.
The market has opened about 0.1 per cent higher, with mining stocks the best performers in early trade.
CMC Markets chief strategist Michael McCarthy said it was hard to predict where the market was heading in the short term, given the recent surge here and on overseas markets.
In response to Wall Street’s rally this week, volatility in local trading had picked up, Mr McCarthy said.
“That tells us that the market is keen to make a break, but it is not clear in what direction,” he said.
“On the evidence this morning, it looks like the upside, but we’ve seen it flip around every day this week.
“So, it’s a very tough time for investors.”
A fall in jobless claims in the US last week sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average to an all-time high for the third straight session overnight.
The Dow added 33.25 points, or 0.23 per cent, to 14,329.49.
Economic data from China is likely to influence the local market on Friday, with trade figures expected early in the afternoon, local time.
More important retail sales and inflation data will be also released from China over the weekend.
“I expect a quietly buoyant day. But, on Fridays we are always vulnerable to a bit of profit taking,” Mr McCarthy said.
Fortescue Metals was among the strongest performers, up 11 cents at $4.51, while Rio Tinto had gained $1.15 to $64.38 and BHP Billiton had added 19 cents to $36.01.
The big four banks were slightly lower, with ANZ posting the largest fall, down 16 cents at $28.85.
Telstra was also down, losing 2.5 cents to $4.515.
* At 1030 AEDT, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 4.1 points, or 0.08 per cent, at 5,113.3 points
* The All Ordinaries index was up 4.8 points, or 0.09 per cent, at 5,127.9 points
* The March share price index futures contract was up three points at 5,114 points, with 6,647 contracts traded.
* National turnover was 527 million securities worth $634 million.