Market set to bounce after losses

UPDATE 8am: The Australian stock market is up more than one per cent at the open, led by strong gains from the big banks.

The market bounced back from yesterday's heavy losses, when jitters over China's moves to tighten its property market prompted a broadbased selloff.

As those fears eased overnight, the positive sentiment continued into the start of the local trading day.

“When the dust settles and people have a cold shower they start to realise it is not going to have that much impact here, particularly on the financial side of things,” Lonsec private client adviser Michael Heffernan said.

Financial stocks were the big market movers at this morning's open, with the four major retail banks all posting gains of between one and two per cent.

ANZ was up 47.5 cents at $28.835, CBA rose $1.12 to $68.24, NAB lifted 48 cents to $30.58 and Westpac advanced 59 cents to $30.95.

“It's opened in a blaze of glory,” Mr Heffernan said of the local market.

“There's green all over the place.”

Investors will focus on retail sales figures for January, due at 8.30am, and the Reserve Bank of Australia's (RBA) interest rate decision at 11.30am.

While most economists expect the central bank to keep the cash rate unchanged at three per cent, the RBA statement accompanying the release will be studied closely for any clues about the future direction of interest rates.

At 8am, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 72.5 points, or 1.4 per cent, at 5083 points.

The All Ordinaries index was up 68.2 points, or 1.4 per cent, at 5096.7 points.

The West Australian

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