Aust stocks rise more than 1% at noon

Local market rallies despite uncertainty on QE paring timeframe in FOMC minutes.

The Australian stock market extended gains beyond 1% at noon with investors seemingly unfazed by lack of clarity in the latest US Federal Reserve meeting minutes on a timeframe to wind back aggressive stimulus measures.

At 1205 AEST the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index added 1.08% to 4,954.3 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index increasing 1.03% to 4,935.5 points.

CMC Markets sales trader Miguel Audencial said "investor’s confidence was likely boosted following Bernanke’s comments overnight that is in no hurry to increase interest rates even if the unemployment target is reached".

"The release of the FOMC provided a momentary boost to the American share market with a number of members expressing that next year would be an appropriate time to start stepping on the breaks of the current bond buying program," he said.

"However, reading further into the minutes, what the market saw was uncertainty, with the committee appearing divided."

Materials posted gains across the board.

Rio Tinto lifted 2.06% to $53.47, while BHP Billiton rose 2.1% to $32.50.

Fortescue Metals rallied 2.08% to $3.43.

Whitehaven Coal was flat at $2.20, while Newcrest rallied 10.35% to $10.98 after reports it would cut jobs at its remote Telfer mine in Western Australia.

In energy, Santos rose 0.43% to $13.99, Oil Search gained 1.6% to $8.23 and Woodside increased 1.24% to $37.205.

In Australia, the market on Wednesday closed higher despite slipping in afternoon trade due to concerns about an economic slowdown in China.

Data from the world's second largest economy showed exports unexpectedly fell 3.1% in June, and imports fell 0.7%.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 19.7 points, or 0.40%, at 4,901.4 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index was up 18.9 points, or 0.39%, to 4,885.4 points.

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