Australian stocks have opened marginally firmer, with strong gains among resources-related companies offset by weakness in defensive market sectors such as healthcare and utilities.
At 8.28am, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 3.5 points, or 0.08 per cent, at 4393.5 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index had risen 2.5 points, or 0.06 per cent, to 4412.7 points.
On the ASX 24, the September share price index futures contract was up one point at 4393 points, with 19,746 contracts traded.
Australia’s mining companies were leading the broader market higher at the start of the trading week, with metals and minerals stocks up 1.75 per cent and materials sector up 1.38 per cent, according to IRESS data.
BHP had risen 75 cents, or 2.25 per cent, to $34.06, while Rio Tinto was up 94 cents, or 1.66 per cent, to $57.52.
Moreover, the gold sector had risen 0.75 per cent.
However, healthcare was the worst-performing sector on the market, having fallen 1.64 per cent.
Utilities (down 1.25 per cent) and consumer staples (down 0.75 per cent) were also in negative territory.
Lonsec senior client adviser Michael Heffernan said the local market had not followed through from a positive set of offshore leads.
“You would have expected our market to show a bit more finesse than what it has so far,” Mr Heffernan said.Wall Street closed Friday night’s offshore session higher.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P500 both gained 0.4 per cent, while the NASDAQ Composite advanced 0.89 per cent.
Futures contract prices for key commodities such as oil, gold and copper also settled firmer in US trade.
The spot price of gold in Sydney was $US1,775.30 per fine ounce, up $US1.29 from Friday’s local close of $US1,774.01 per ounce.National turnover was 315.5 million securities worth $698.6 million, with 286 stocks up, 302 down and 245 unchanged.
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