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Australian stocks trade 6 ½ yrs high in morning, S&P 200 increases 26.7pts

Australian stocks trade 6 ½ yrs high in morning, S&P 200 increases 26.7pts

SYDNEY: The Australian stocks traded at a fresh six-and-a-half year high after the open, amid a glut of corporate earnings and following indications the US Federal Reserve is in no hurry to raise interest rates.

At the 10.15am (AEDT) official market open, the benchmark S & P/ASX200 index was up 26.7 points, or 0.45 per cent, at 5,942.4, while the broader All Ordinaries index was rose 26.5 points, or 0.45 per cent, to 5,904.4.

CMC chief market strategist Michael McCarthy said soft US producer prices and the ongoing “Greek soap opera” should introduce a cautionary note, but may instead spur the bulls.

“The current global enthusiasm for shares is not driven by economic optimism but anticipation of European stimulus and a delayed US tightening,” he said.

“The minutes of the most recent US Fed meeting, released this morning, offer comfort to both hawks and doves, with the latter seizing on expressed concerns about sharp adjustments in markets once tightening begins.”

Consumer discretionaries led the market higher, gaining 1.32 per cent as a sector.

Crown rose 7.26 per cent to $15.51 after posting a steep decline in first-half profit.

Fairfax shares rallied 2.81 per cent on the back of a fall in first-half profit and the announcement of an on-market share buyback.

Financials pushed 0.61 per cent higher collectively.

ANZ lifted 0.23 per cent to $35.21, while Commonwealth Bank rallied 0.61 per cent to $91.26.

National Australia Bank rose 0.64 per cent to $38.00 while Westpac lifted 0.68 per cent to $38.26.

AMP surged 4.15 per cent to $6.77 after lifting its full-year profit by 32 per cent.

Consumer staples slipped 0.02 per cent as a sector.

Woolworths gained 0.43 per cent to $32.96, while Wesfarmers retreated 0.33 per cent to $45.74 after unveiling a slight decline in first-half profit.

Qantas added 0.37 per cent to $2.70, while rival Virgin fell 0.53 per cent to 47.25c after narrowing its first-half loss.