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ASX to open firmer on good lead
ASX to open firmer on good lead

UPDATE 7.45am: Australian shares have opened marginally stronger as a recovery in US retail sales gave a boost to cautious investor sentiment.

At 7.45am, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 29.4 points, or 0.7 per cent, at 4512.8 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index was 27.7 points, or 0.6 per cent, higher to 4533.2 points.

On the ASX 24, the December share price index futures contract was 23 points higher at 4504 points, with 2450 contracts traded.

Commonwealth Securities market analyst Juliana Roadley said a 1.1 per cent jump in US retail sales data for September helped drive a recovery on Wall Street, which in turn helped the Australian equities market open stronger.

The positive result from the US Department of Commerce helped the Dow Jones Industrial Average climb 95.38 points, or 0.72 per cent, to finish at 13,424.23.

Meanwhile, the broad-based S&P 500 rose 11.54 points, or 0.81 per cent, to close at 1440.13.

But resources stocks are continuing to face pressure ahead of Chinese data on industrial production due out later this week.

“You have the nervous holding back because of falling commodity prices,” Ms Roadley said.

BHP Billiton shed seven cents to open at $33.28 while Rio Tinto lost 29 cents to $55.23 as the resources giant prepares to release its third-quarter operations review.

Fortescue Metals Group is also releasing its first quarter report today, while Telstra is holding its annual general meeting.

National turnover was 224.163 million securities worth $317.103 million, with 346 stocks up, 171 down and 248 unchanged.