The West Australian © Rudolf Oultz watches the display board at the Australia Stock Exchange in Sydney, Monday, Aug. 8, 2011. Australian and New Zealand markets have opened lower in reaction to ratings agency Standard and Poor's downgrading of the United States government credit rating from AAA to AA+. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)
UPDATE 7.20am: The Australian market has opened higher after positive overseas leads and gains for the mining giants.
At 7.24am, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 12.6 points, or 0.26 per cent, at 4,933.7, and the broader All Ordinaries index was up 12.7 points, or 0.26 per cent, at 4,954.6.
On the ASX 24, the March share price index futures contract was 11 points higher at 4890 with 8049 contracts traded.
IG Markets market strategist Evan Lucas said the Australian market had opened higher due to strong leads from Wall Street and Europe and gains for the mining giants.
“The positive start this morning is because of leads from overseas and again our commodity space is really pushing higher particularly as things are stronger globally,” he said.
US stocks rallied sharply on Friday, with the Dow industrials closing above 14,000 for the first time since October 2007 following a positive US jobs report.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 14,009.79, up 149.21 points (1.08 per cent).
In Europe, London's FTSE 100 index of top companies gained 1.12 per cent to close at 6347.24 points as a slight expansion in manufacturing in January and positive quarterly results for telecoms firm BT cheered investors.
The mining giants all opened higher.
Rio Tinto surged 60 cents to $67.80, BHP Billiton added eight cents to $38.00 and Fortescue gained four cents to $4.83.
The major banks opened higher or flat.
Commonwealth Bank jumped 13 cents to $65.18, ANZ added six cents to $26.80, National Australia Bank gained two cents to $28.02 and Westpac was flat at $28.30.
In economic news, the Australian Bureau of Statistics is due to release its building approvals for December.
The TD Securities/Melbourne Institute Monthly Inflation Gauge and the Dun and Bradstreet business expectations survey are also both expected to be released.National turnover was 297.4 million shares worth $359.5 million.
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