Aust stocks edge higher at open

Local market lifts 0.3% in early trade following modestly upbeat Wall Street lead.

The Australian sharemarket opened slightly higher, following a modestly upbeat lead from Wall Street overnight.

At the 10.15am (AEST) official market open, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index rose 17.9 points, or 0.33%, to 5,497.8 points, while the All Ordinaries index gained 17 points, or 0.31%, to 5,475.1 points.

US stocks closed higher as investors cheered a rebound in housing data. At the closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average inched up 10.02 points, or 0.06 per cent, to 16,543.08.

CMC Markets chief market analyst Ric Spooner said investors were feeling positive on the back of mostly encouraging manufacturing data out of the US and Europe, the better-than-expected manufacturing figures out of China on Thursday, and the fact that iron ore prices have stopped falling for now.

"We've just seen a steadying of the nerves," Mr Spooner said.

"There's been some economic data in the last day or so which had been mildly positive, and there was a figure from China yesterday that was probably the biggest thing that changed sentiment yesterday.

"And very importantly as far as our market is concerned, the iron ore price has just stopped falling in the last couple of days

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