Aust stocks open stronger

The Australian sharemarket opened stronger after a record closing high from the S&P 500.

The Australian sharemarket opened stronger after a record closing high from the S&P 500 index led Wall Street higher on the back of robust manufacturing data out of the US, eurozone and China.

At the 10.15am (AEDT) official market open, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index rose 19.3 points, or 0.36%, to 5,408.5 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index added 18.5 points, or 0.34%, to 5,413.4 points.

China said its official purchasing managers index of manufacturing activity came in at 50.3 for March, up slightly from February's eight-month low of 50.2. A figure above 50 points to growth.

Locally the Australian Bureau of Statistics is due to release February building approvals data, as well as job vacancies for the same month today.

In equities news, QBE Insurance Group has its annual general meeting slated for Sydney.

BHP Billiton president of coal Dean Dalla Valle is scheduled to give a speech at a Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) lunch.

In Australia, the market on Tuesday closed lower despite pulling back most of its early losses after official data showed a slight improvement in China's manufacturing activity.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 5.6 points, or 0.1%, to 5,389.2 points.

The broader All Ordinaries index shed 8.1 points, or 0.15%, to 5,394.9 points.

Materials were mostly stronger, with the big miners posting healthy gains.

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