Aust stocks lift at noon

Local market recovers after better than forecast US retail sales numbers.

The Australian sharemarket has extended morning gains at noon after better than expected United States retail sales figures boosted Wall Street overnight.

At 12.05pm (AEST), the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index rose 35.7 points, or 0.67%, to 5,394.6, while the broader All Ordinaries index added 34.7 points, or 0.65%, to 5,388.3.

US retail sales jumped 1.1% in March, better than the 0.9 increase analysts had expected. The government also revised February retail sales to a 0.7% gain, more than double its previous estimate. Sales had fallen in January and December.

In local news, the Reserve Bank of Australia reaffirmed its neutral bias, noting further signs that low interest rates are working.