Aust stocks inch higher at open

Local market edges up after Wall St gains on limited buying enthusiasm.

The Australian stock market opened slightly higher following gains on Wall Street after a series of mediocre earnings reports limited buying enthusiasm.

At the 1015 AEST official market open, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index rose 0.26% to 5,015 points and the broader All Ordinaries index rose 0.27% to 5,002.2 points.

Financials were mostly stronger, with the big four banks rising.

Commonwealth Bank gained 0.17% to $72.00, while ANZ Banking Group rose 0.57% to $29.075.

National Australia Bank increased 0.46% to $30.55, while Westpac Banking Corporation put on 0.44% to $29.53.

Investment bank Macquarie Group lost 0.33% to $45.35.

In the insurance sector, QBE lost 1.76% to $16.21, Insurance Australia Group edged down 0.25% to $5.875 and Suncorp shed 0.24% to $12.44.

Materials were mixed, with the major miners gaining.

Rio Tinto inched up 0.07% to $56.59, while BHP Billiton gained 0.76% to $34.38.

Fortescue Metals shed 1.36% to $3.63.

Whitehaven Coal gained 0.46% to $2.20, while Newcrest jumped 5.52% to $12.61.

In energy, Santos increased 0.36% to $13.93, Oil Search lost 0.61% to $8.18 and Woodside gained 0.21% to $38.31.

No major economic news is expected on Tuesday.

In equities news, Oil Search posted a slight fall in its second quarter production report while Fortescue Metals Group is expected to release its fourth quarter production figures.

In Australia, the market yesterday closed at its highest levels in two months due to strong gains in the mining and energy sectors.

The S&P/ASX200 index closed above 5,000 points for the first time since May 23.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 29.8 points, or 0.60%, at 5,001.9 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index was up 29.5 points, or 0.59%, to 4,988.9 points.

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