Aust stocks rise at noon

Local market retreats slightly to sit 0.8% higher on uptick in European sentiment.

The Australian stock market pared gains slightly to sit 0.8% higher at noon on an uptick in European markets after the eurozone and British central banks reaffirmed their commitment to monetary easing.

At 1205 AEST, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index lifted 0.81% to 4,833.7 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index added 0.8% to 4,819.1 points. Earlier, the benchmark touched a high of 4853.4 points.

CMC Markets premium client manager Niall King said the volatility marking the start to the financial year would continue into next week.

"With US non-farm payrolls topping the bill on the imminent economic data front, investors have plenty to ponder," Mr King said.

"Recent volatility looks set to continue into next week as market participants look to crucial economic releases both domestically and from China, to answer increasing questions about the health of the Australian economy and its largest trading partner."

He said the closure of  US markets for Independence Day meant "the baton for sentiment direction was picked up by the Europeans" 

"Re-affirmed commitment to monetary easing by the ECB and Bank of England sent European equities into raptures overnight, with investors looking to lean on cheap money," he said.

Materials were also higher, with the major miners supporting the broader market.

Rio Tinto lifted 0.56% to $52.46, while BHP Billiton added 1.35% to $31.64.

Fortescue Metals added 2.58% to $3.385, after slamming Brockman's bid to gain third-party access to its Pilbara rail line.

Whitehaven Coal lifted 0.88% to $2.30, while Newcrest lost 1.5% to $10.815.

In energy, Santos inclined 1.7% to $13.19, Oil Search added 0.7% to $7.935 and Woodside increased 0.53% to $35.83.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index on Thursday was up 50.6 points, or 1.07%, at 4,794.7 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index was up 53.2 points, or 1.13%, to 4,781.0 points.

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