Market holds modest gains mid-session
Market holds modest gains mid-session

Australian shares were slightly higher mid-session after the local market bounced back in response to a better than expected day of trading on Wall Street.

At 10am, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 5.5 points, or 0.13 per cent, at 4306.8 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index had risen 6.7 points, or 0.15 per cent, to 4368.3 points.

On the ASX 24, the June share price index futures contract was 10 points higher at 4300 points, with 14,724 contracts traded.

IG Markets analyst Cameron Peacock said the local market had bounced back, after US stocks closed higher than expected.

"The big disaster that everyone expected didn't eventuate so we've had a bit of a bounce this morning," he said.

US stocks closed mixed, showing little impact from the weekend votes in France and Greece which cast doubt on the path of financial reform across the troubled euro zone.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 29.74 points (0.23 per cent) to 13,008.68, pulled lower by mild falls from Caterpillar and Hewlett-Packard.

Most European stock markets closed higher despite the prospects for political and financial turmoil in Greece following general elections.

London markets were closed but in Paris the CAC 40 index erased early losses and jumped by 1.65 per cent to 3214.22 points in fairly thin trading, while in Frankfurt the DAX 30 ended up adding 0.12 per cent to 6569.48 points.

In economic news, the Federal Government will deliver its 2012/2013 budget and the Australian Bureau of Statistics announced that the nation's trade deficit widened in March.

In equities news, OneSteel shareholders voted in favour of changing the company name to Arrium, while Oil Search and Empire are due to hold general meetings.

OneSteel shares were down 1.5 cents to $1.21.

The mining giants all experienced gains.

BHP Billiton was up 17 cents to $34.74, Rio Tinto was 29 cents higher to $62.29 and Fortescue Metals rose seven cents to $5.27.

The four major banks were mixed.

Westpac was up 12 cents to $22.84 and the Commonwealth Bank was six cents higher to $52.12.

However, ANZ was 12 cents lower at $22.98 and National Australia Bank was down 18 cents to $24.53.

National turnover was 770 million securities worth $1.585 billion, with 431 stocks up, 356 down and 333 unchanged.

The West Australian

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