SYDNEY: The Australian stocks started 0.75 per cent higher as modest gains in global oil value hold up the recently-battered energy zone, and bank stocks surged.
At the 10.15am (AEDT) official market open, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 44.1 points, or 0.79 per cent, at 5,613.6 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index gained 41.9 points, or 0.76 per cent, to 5,574.1 points.
CMC chief market analyst Ric Spooner said a positive session on Wall Street would help the local market today, but warned it is likely that the next couple of trading days were going to be all about positioning for Tuesday’s RBA meeting.
The Dow Jones index was up almost one per cent after a number of people seeking unemployment benefits in the US plunged last week to the lowest level in almost 15 years.
“While a good start to this morning’s session is likely, we may get to the stage before Tuesday’s RBA meeting where traders will begin to contemplate the risks of being caught on the wrong foot if the Reserve Bank surprises by maintaining a neutral policy,” he said.
“Investors will also be conscious of a “buy the rumour, sell the fact” situation developing.”
Financial stocks were among the best performers in early trade, lifting 0.94 per cent as a sector.
ANZ lifted 0.94 per cent to $33.26, while Commonwealth Bank rallied 1.28 per cent to $89.90.
National Australia Bank added 0.76 per cent to $35.77 while Westpac lifted 0.52 per cent to $34.82.
Consumer staples rallied 0.83 per cent as a sector.
Woolworths added 1.33 per cent to $32.02, while Wesfarmers rose 0.66 per cent to $43.99.
Materials gained 0.73 per cent as a sector.
BHP Billiton added 1.21 per cent to $29.30, while rival Rio Tinto lifted 1.44 per cent to $57.87.
Energy stocks rallied after steep losses in the previous session, to be 0.44 per cent higher as a sector.
Overnight, Oil prices closed higher after a volatile session that saw the New York price drop below $US44 a barrel for the first time since March 2009.
Beach Energy surged 6.67 per cent to 96c, while Oil Search lifted 0.78 per cent to $7.76.
Santos gained 0.78 per cent to $7.79 while Woodside Petroleum added 0.5 per cent to $33.91.
Meanwhile, Telstra edged up 0.31 per cent to $6.49 and Qantas added 0.39 per cent to $2.58.