UPDATE 8am: Australian stocks have opened firmer, with a strong showing from Woolworths and Treasury Wine Estates leading the broader market higher.
At 8am, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 37 points, or 0.7 per cent, at 5073.6 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index had risen 35.7 points, or 0.7 per cent, to 5088.8 points.
On the ASX 24, the March share price index futures contract was 49 points higher at 5,069 points, with 9,455 contracts traded.
Making news, Woolworths was the best-performing stock on the S&P/ASX20 after the supermarket chain said first half net profit rose 19 per cent to $1.15 billion.
The stock was up 76 cents, or 2.23 per cent, at $34.77.
Another consumer staples stock, Treasury Wine Estates, rose 15 cents, or 3.06 per cent, to $5.05 after reporting first half net profit of $52.3 million, up 30.8 per cent from the prior corresponding period.
The gains from Woolworths and Treasury Wine Estates helped push the consumer staples sector up 1.44 per cent.
Lonsec private client adviser Michael Heffernan said it was a superb result from Woolworths.
“That has just powered the whole market,” Mr Heffernan said.
“Whenever a stock goes up more than one per cent after a result it means they have either exceeded expectations or it has just been a great result.”
The local bourse also got a positive lead from Wall Street - the Dow climbed 1.26 per cent, the S&P500 advanced 1.27 per cent and the NASDAQ ended up 1.04 per cent.
The spot price of gold in Sydney was $US1597.20 per fine ounce, down $US12.97 from yesterday's local close of $US1610.17 per ounce.National turnover was 137 million securities worth $249.5 million, with about five stocks up for every two that had fallen.