Australian stocks have opened firmer amid broad-based gains as local market players looked past a poor night on Wall Street.
At 8.31am, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 12.6 points, or 0.29 per cent, at 4328.3 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index had risen 10.6 points, or 0.24 per cent to 4350.8 points.
On the ASX 24, the September share price index futures contract was 15 points higher at 4320 points, with 11,539 contracts traded.
The best-performing sector at the open was healthcare, which was up 1.11 per cent, according to IRESS data.Meanwhile, energy stocks were up 0.66 per cent, while consumer staples had also risen 0.66 per cent.
Financials and materials - Australia’s two big market sectors - were up 0.15 per cent and 0.03 per cent, respectively.
However, gold stocks were down 0.65 per cent, while the information technology sector was 0.21 per cent weaker.
In the resources sector, Fortescue Metals Group was down 1.4 per cent, BHP Billiton down 0.5 per cent, Atlas Iron down 1.1 per cent but Rio Tinto bucked the trend to be up 1.1 per cent.
The spot price of gold in Sydney was $US1,656.20 per fine ounce, down $US1.22 from Thursday’s local close of $US1,657.42 per ounce.
RBS Morgans private client adviser Bill Bishop said some investors may have been prompted to return to the market after recent declines.
“It’s nice to see that the market is confident enough to actually buy,” Mr Bishop said.“It is a terrific vote of confidence considering the Dow Jones dropped 107 points last night.”
“It’s a nice broad-based gain.”
Wall Street closed lower during the overnight offshore session, as investors waited for a speech from US Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke at a gathering of world central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming over the weekend.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.81 per cent, the S&P500 slipped 0.78 per cent and the NASDAQ backpedalled 1.05 per cent.
Still to come on the local market were full year results from retailer Harvey Norman, and Australian Power & Gas.National turnover was 366.8 million securities, valued at $2.5 billion, with 234 stocks up, 281 down, and 250 unchanged.
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