Aust stocks rise at noon

Local market lifts after record highs on Wall St overnight despite CBA apology.

The Australian sharemarket is stronger at noon, buoyed by record highs on Wall Street overnight, with investors undeterred by the Commonwealth Bank's promise of a review into fraud in its financial planning arm.

At 12.05pm (AEST), the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index added 35.4 points, or 0.65%, to 5,490.8 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index gained 36.4 points, or 0.67%, to 5,478.1 points.

Investors are digesting official data that showed building approvals spiked more than expected in May, while retail sales declined against expectations of a flat result. 

RBA governor Glenn Stevens also gave a speech saying the central bank had scope to cut interest rates again if necessary.

The gains follow a strong performance on the local market yesterday.

"Traditionally July is a good month for local shares and there is a good chance most of the cash that was on the sidelines in June will return to the market this month," IG market strategist Stan Shamu said.

This morning, CBA boss Ian Narev apologised to customers for misconduct in the bank's financial planning division that caused customers to lose savings, announcing a wide-ranging review.

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