Aust stocks open 0.5% higher

Local market lifts after S&P 500, Dow hit fresh closing highs.

The Australian stock market opened 0.5% higher after the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 vaulted to new records.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 opened 0.51% higher, at 4990.9 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index also opened 0.51% higher, at 4971.9 points.

Wall Street posted gains following Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke's pledge to maintain the central bank's easy-money policy for the foreseeable future.

China will be key to today's trade, as it has been during the last few days, according to IG analyst Stan Shamu.

"Bulls will be keen to see if the strong rally continues," he said.

In economic news on Friday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics is due to release Housing finance figures for May.

"The banks will be in focus on the back of home loans data due out later this morning," Mr Shamu said.

"A strong print would be positive for the banks with the biggest home loan books."

In equities news, Inabox Group, a wholesaler of telco services to small businesses, lists on the ASX.

In Australia, the market on Thursday shot up by 1.3%, with investors cheering comments out of the US that money would continue to be pumped into the world's largest economy.

Shares in Australia soared on US Fed chairman Ben Bernanke's comments that central bank support through stimulus would continue for the foreseeable future, after flagging an end to it sent markets diving last month.

Job numbers provided the other major influence, with investors focusing less on the bad news of a rise in unemployment to 5.7% in June, and more on the better than expected 10,400-plus net jobs created.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 64.3 points, or 1.31%, at 4,965.7 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index was up 61.5 points, or 1.26%, to 4,946.9 points.

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