UPDATE 8.10am: Australian stocks have opened firmer with mining companies leading the way.
At 8.10am, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 8.7 points, or 0.17 per cent, at 5125.5 points while the All Ordinaries index was up 8.0 points, or 0.16 per cent, at 5138.9 points.
Burrell Stockbroking principal Richard Herring said the local market got a positive lead from Wall Street, where the Dow rallied to a new all-time high for a second day.
However, volumes were light at the start of trade, suggesting investors were conscious of not getting too carried away by the recent higher runs in both Australia and the US.
“There has only been about half a billion through the market so, perhaps, people are a little bit cautious with the Dow at these levels,” Mr Herring said.
“The question is have things got this much better this quickly?
“I think, certainly, things have improved and sentiment has improved. But whether the Dow needs to be at record highs, I am not quite convinced.”
The S&P/ASX200 posted a four-and-a-half-year high at the close of trade.
At the open, the gold sector was the biggest mover, soaring 2.29 per cent, according to IRESS data.
The sector was led by Kingsgate Consolidated, which was up 4.8 per cent, or 17 cents, at $3.71, while Newcrest had risen 30 cents to $21.93.
The two big mining giants were also higher: BHP was up 13 cents at $35.95 and Rio had advanced 15 cents to $63.35.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics will publish the January trade balance at 8.30am.Mr Herring said he expected subdued conditions for the rest of the trading day, with stocks likely to consolidate recent gains.
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