The Australian sharemarket is stronger, cracking the 4400 point barrier and outperforming European and US stocks from overnight.
At 9.25am, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 52.2 points, or 1.19 per cent, at 4421.7 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index was up 49 points, or 1.12 per cent, at 4439.7 points.
On the ASX 24, the December share price index futures contract was 53 points higher at 4434 points, with 15,411 contracts traded.
Wall Street posted a slight gain overnight, boosted by news of a ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip and positive US economic data.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Wednesday gained 0.38 per cent to 12,836.89, while the S&P 500 index added 0.23 per cent and the Nasdaq rose by 0.34 per cent.
Official figures showed a drop in US jobless claims and a rise in PMI flash manufacturing data, which are the first, advance indicators of the monthly performance of the private sector.
The Australian market now is keenly awaiting the release of Chinese flash PMI data on Thursday afternoon.
CommSec market analyst Juliana Roadley said the data was expected to be unchanged, so anything less could prompt falls in Australian and regional stocks.
“At the moment, everything is looking rosie” on the local market, she told AAP.
“The banks are following the gains out of the US and the energy sector is getting a lift from the oil price.
“Even with the ceasefire, the oil price is still moving higher ... $US87.70 a barrel is a pretty good level compared to what it was a few days ago.”
Australia’s largest pure energy company, Woodside Petroleum, was 46 cents, or 1.4 per cent, higher at $33.80.
Fellow oil and gas producer Santos, at an investor presentation day, forecast higher production for this year and next. Its stocks were 20 cents, or 1.83 per cent, better at $11.14.
BHP Billiton was up 42 cents at $33.78 and Rio Tinto had gained 32 cents to $57.27.
Shares in breads and spreads supplier Goodman Fielder were $1.25, or 2.2 per cent, higher at $59.25 after it told shareholders at its AGM that it was on course to make $100 million in annualised savings by 2015.
In other news, a move to restrict Woolworths’ operation of poker machines was voted down by the retailers’ shareholders.
Woolworths shares were up 27.5 cents at $28.755.All of the major banks were up. National Australia Bank was 13 cents higher at $23.80, ANZ was up 31 cents to $23.83, Commonwealth Bank had risen 78 cents to $58.66 and Westpac had climbed 31 cents to $24.91.
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