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Market report: Thursday, April 14


The Australian share market has opened higher, led by resource and financial companies following strong gains in the US, Europe and Asia.

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The benchmark index was trading 0.73 per cent higher at 1031 AEST, thanks to BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and BlueScope as the iron ore price breached the $US60 mark, Patersons Securities economist Tony Farnham.

Australian banks also found support among investors following strong gains in financial stocks abroad overnight.

“Financials’ last night in the US and also in Europe were the star sector”, with investment bank JPMorgan reporting better-than-expected earnings results,” Farnham said.

In the US, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 1.06 per cent higher and Nasdaq rose 1.55 per cent. The UK’s FTSE 100 closed up 1.93 per cent, while Japan’s Nikkei rose 2.84 per cent.

Rio Tinto shares were up $1.53 to $48.91, with BHP Billiton up 86 cents to $18.78 and BlueScope up 33 cents to $6.74.
The Commonwealth Bank was up 84 cents at $74.57, National Australia Bank added 35 cents to $26.44, Westpac gained 32 cents to $30.26, and ANZ jumped 47 cents to $23.81.

Investment bank Macquarie Group rose 96 cents to $65.47.


* At 1031 AEST, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 36.8 points, or 0.73 per cent, at 5,091.5 points.

* The broader All Ordinaries index was up 35 points, or 0.68 per cent, at 5,162.2 points.

* The June share price index futures contract was up 32 points at 5,068 points, with 12,136 contracts traded.

* National turnover was 436.7 million securities traded, worth $742.4 million.


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