The Australian sharemarket continued to rise in morning trade after a strong session on Wall Street and the release of mostly encouraging earnings reports locally.
At 9.03am, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 31.1 points, or 0.62 per cent, at 5034.7 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index was up 30.4 points, or 0.61 per cent, to 5052.3 points.
On the ASX 24, the March share price index futures contract was up 37 points at 5015 points, with 14,085 contracts traded.
"It looks like a nice steady day," Burrell Stockbroking director Richard Herring said.
The market opened higher after stocks in the United States posted strong gains on reports of surprisingly robust new home sales and consumer confidence.
Locally, several major companies reported better-than-expected financial results during the morning, providing further momentum.
"Corporate reports seem to be okay today, and reporting this month has been in line with expectations, with the odd surprise and the odd disappointment," Mr Herring said.
"So, it's been quite encouraging, given the wider market's expectation of complete disappointment, in terms of earnings."
AGL Energy provided the most upbeat earnings report, with first half profit significantly higher due to new assets, while its underlying performance also improved.
AGL shares were up 56.5 cents, or 3.7 per cent, at $15.755.
Shopping centre developer Westfield Group lifted its annual profit by 18 per cent, and its shares were up three cents at $11.11.
Building products group James Hardie reduced its forecast for full year earnings, but its shares were up 16 cents at $9.51.
A majority of the company's business is done in the US, where it said the housing market was improving.
QBE Insurance, which also has a large exposure to the US market, was another strong performer, up 37 cents, or 2.9 per cent, at $13.12.
Engineering firm UGL disappointed the market, with a 53 per cent drop in first half profit due to restructuring costs.
Its shares were down 33.5 cents, or 3.1 per cent, at $10.565.
The four big banks were slightly higher, with Commonwealth the best performer, up 51.5 cents at $65.985.
Mining companies were relatively flat, with BHP Billiton up 23 cents at $36.58 and Rio Tinto up 23.5 cents at $65.805.National turnover was 949 million securities worth $1.6 billion.
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