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Australian stocks edge higher at open, S&P 200 up 13.8pts

Australian stocks edge higher at open, S&P 200 up 13.8pts

SYDNEY: Australian stocks edged slightly higher at the open, as news of a rate cut in China over the weekend offset a downbeat lead from Wall Street at the end of last week.

At the 10.15am (AEDT) official market open, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 13.8 points, or 0.23 per cent, at 5,942.6 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index rose 13.6 points, or 0.23 per cent, at 5,912.1.

CMC chief market analyst Ric Spooner said news of China’s rate cut should help buyer mood this morning, compensating for a weak lead from the US market.

“However, while news of lower borrowing costs will help support equity valuations and be seen as a positive for commodity demand, market response may be limited,” he said.

On Sunday, China’s central bank announced it will cut the benchmark deposit and loan interest rates by 25 basis points, as authorities seek to prop up flagging growth in the world’s second-largest economy.

The local market came through the February corporate earnings season in relatively good shape, Mr Spooner said, noting that the ASX200 index rose 6 per cent during the month with around two thirds of companies achieving profit growth over the year.

“An ongoing focus on cost cutting and capital management is a strategic feature for companies at the moment. This is contributing to the lower inflation and moderate growth environment that’s keeping a lid on consumer spending,” he said.