Aust stocks lift at noon

Local market gains as banks recover, Yellen's comments buoy investors.

The Australian stock market has gained ground at noon as major banks recovered somewhat from yesterday's sell-off and likely new US Federal Reserve head Janet Yellen hinted stimulus is set to continue.

At 1205 AEDT, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index increased 0.85% to 5,364.2 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index rose 0.8% to 5,360.1 points.

CMC Markets analyst Niall King said the local market has bounced north this morning after positive US leads.

"Comments from Fed members in recent days had cast doubt in some quarters that initial taper inroads may actually be made this side of the upcoming holiday season but Dr Yellen’s comments overnight appear to have poured cold water over that school of thought," he said.

"Naturally, the major banks have recovered some of yesterday’s lost ground and have taken the overall market with them in the early exchanges."

Financials were broadly stronger.

ANZ rose 1.49% to $31.91 and Commonwealth Bank gained 1.17% to $77.20.

National Australia Bank added 1.01% to $33.99, and Westpac put on 1.69% to $32.815.

Investment bank Macquarie Group lifted 0.79% to $53.76.

In insurance, IAG gained 0.84% to $6.03, Suncorp inclined 1.03% to $13.235, and QBE rose 0.52% to $15.36.

No major economic news is expected.

In equities news, BlueScope Steel, Mirvac Group, Macquarie Radio Network, Sims Metal Management, ResMed and New Hope Corporation have annual general meetings scheduled.

In Australia, the market yesterday fell significantly as investors took profits and considered the possibility the Federal Reserve would soon start curtailing its economic stimulus program.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index dropped 73.9 points, or 1.37%, to 5,319.2 points.

The broader All Ordinaries index shed 69.3 points, or 1.29%, to 5,317.5 points.

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