Aust stocks open 0.5% higher

Local stockmarket lifts ahead of RBA meeting.

The Australian stock market opened more than half a per cent higher ahead of the Reserve Bank of Australia's monthly board meeting later today.

At the 1015 AEDT official market open, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index increased 0.58% to 5,421.8 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index added 0.56% to 5,414.4.

Financials were mostly stronger, withe the big four all in the black.

ANZ lifted 0.69% to $33.74, while Commonwealth Bank put on 0.54% to $76.51.

National Australia Bank added 0.42% to $35.58, and Westpac lifted 0.7% to $34.40.

Investment bank Macquarie Group lost 0.3% to $53.74.

In insurance, IAG was flat at $6.08.

Suncorp added 0.23% to $13.33, and QBE was flat at $14.76.

Materials were mostly stronger, with the major miners gaining.

BHP Billiton rose 0.75% to $37.80, while rival Rio Tinto increased 1.44% to $64.64.

Fortescue Metals rallied 2.26% to $5.44, while Newcrest increased 0.3% to $10.03.

Whitehaven Coal lifted 2.91% to $1.59.

Oil Search added 1.53% to $8.55, while Santos added 0.99% to $15.24 and Woodside Petroleum added 0.98% to $38.18.

The retail sector was mixed.

Wesfarmers added 0.7% to $43.14, while rival Woolworths increased 0.58% to $34.74.

Myer was flat at $2.56 and rival David Jones lost 0.33% to $3.02.

Harvey Norman decreased 0.31% to $3.28, while JB Hi-Fi rallied 1.58% to $21.92. 

In media, Fairfax Media rose 1.71% to 59.5 cents, 21st Century Fox shed 0.64% to $35.83 and News Corp decreased 0.89% to $19.00.

Ten Network was flat at 29.5 cents, while Seven West added 0.4% to $2.48.

Southern Cross Media decreased 2.35% to $1.775.

Blue chip Qantas added 0.41% to $1.2435, while Telstra put on 0.58% to $5.17.

The first reading on US third-quarter gross domestic product is due out on Thursday, monthly US jobs report for October on Friday and US factory orders figures on Monday.

Locally, in economic news on Tuesday, the Reserve Bank of Australia holds its November board meeting and decides on its cash rate position.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics releases overseas arrivals and departure figures for September, while the Australian Industry Group/Commonwealth Bank Australian Performance of Services Index (PSI) for October showed a slight lift though the sector still remained in contraction.

No major equities news is expected.

In Australia, shares on Monday closed moderately higher with surprisingly strong retail sales figures boosting department store stocks but failing to inject extra momentum into the overall market.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 7.3 points, or 0.13 per cent, at 5,418.4.

The broader All Ordinaries index was up 5.7 points, or 0.11 per cent, at 5,412.2.

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