Aust stocks open stronger

Local market pushes 0.6% higher as manufacturing data buoys Wall Street.

The Australian stock market opened higher following gains on Wall Street after a survey showed that US manufacturing had expanded at the fastest pace in almost four years.

At 1020 AEDT, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was 0.6% higher at 5,447.7, while the broader All Ordinaries index increased 0.58% to 5,452.8 points.

A private survey by Markit, the Markit Flash US Manufacturing index, rose to 56.7 from 53.7 in January.

CMC Markets chief analyst Ric Spooner said the positive lead from Wall Street had also diluted any concerns over some disappointing data on Chinese manufacturing activity.

He said strong gains from the mining sector had also helped the Australian market get off to a good start.

"It is a pretty solid opening across the board," he said.

"Investors have pushed BHP back over $39, which has obviously helping the market."

Mr Spooner said gains for BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto were a delayed reaction to their positive earnings results.

"It often takes quite a long time for investors to adjust portfolios," he said.