Aust stocks open slightly stronger

Local market edges marginally higher following mixed Wall Street leads.

The Australian stock market opened slightly higher after Wall Street closed mixed despite the Nasdaq Composite Index breaching 4,000 for the first time in 13 years.

At the 1015 AEDT official market open, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index rose 0.27% to 5,367.2 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index added 0.26%, to 5,360.2.

Financials were mostly higher, with three of the big four in the black.

ANZ rose 0.31% to $31.89 and Commonwealth Bank added 0.51% to $76.66.

National Australia Bank lost 0.18% to $34.04 and Westpac edged up 0.46% to $32.67.

Investment bank Macquarie Group gained 0.53% to $55.35.

In insurance, IAG rose 0.82% to $6.18, Suncorp lifted 0.89% to $13.67 and QBE dropped 0.57% to $15.87.

Materials were largely weaker, with the major miner slipping.

BHP Billiton inched down 0.77% at $37.60, while rival Rio Tinto retreated 0.83% to $64.855.

Fortescue Metals retreated 0.69% to $5.78, while Newcrest added 1.21% to $8.36.

Whitehaven Coal gained 2.45% to $1.5675 and Santos lifted 0.55% to $14.52.

Oil Search decreased 0.36% to $8.33, while Woodside Petroleum lifted 0.49% to $38.61.

The retail sector was mixed.

Wesfarmers increased 0.81% to $44.425, while rival Woolworths added 0.53% to $34.14.

Myer slipped 1.39% to $2.83 and rival David Jones was flat at $2.98.

Harvey Norman rose 0.93% to $3.19, while JB Hi-Fi lost 0.1% to $20.09.

In media, Fairfax Media lost 0.41% to 60.25 cents, 21st Century Fox was 0.5% lower at $35.92 and News Corp fell 0.31% to $19.24

Ten Network added 1.75% to 29 cents, while Seven West inclined 0.66% to $2.285 and Southern Cross Media lifted 0.47% to $1.6125.

Blue chip Qantas was flat at $1.185, while Telstra put on 0.39% to $5.10.

In economic news on Tuesday, Reserve Bank of Australia deputy governor Philip Lowe delivered the keynote address at an International Association for Research on Income and Wealth (IARIW) and University of New South Wales (UNSW) Conference.

In equities news, Woolworths, Harvey Norman, Brickworks, IOOF, Ridley Corporation, Challenger and Kingsgate Consolidated have annual general meetings scheduled.

In Australia, the market on Monday gained thanks to continued positive momentum on Wall Street.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index rose 15.8 points, or 0.3%, to 5,346.1.

The broader All Ordinaries index added 16.9 points, or 0.32%, to 5,352.8.

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