RTTNews - With investors picking up stocks across the board following the surge on Wall Street overnight on the back of an analyst upgrade for U.S. banks, the Australian market got off to a bright start on Tuesday.

Energy, materials, financials, consumer staples and consumer discretionary stocks are moving up sharply this morning. Fairly heavy buying is seen in healthcare, telecom and industrial stocks as well.

The Australian benchmark index S&P/ASX 200, which rose to 3,830 this morning, is currently trading at 3,819, up 81.4 points over its previous close. The broader All Ordinaries index is up by 76 points at 3,814.

On Monday, the S&P/ASX200 had closed down 56.6 points or 1.49% at 3,737.5 while the All Ordinaries Index declined 52.6 points or 1.39% to 3,738.

In the banking space, ANZ Bank is up nearly 2%, Commonwealth Bank of Australia is up 2.1%, National Australia Bank is gaining 2.3% and Westpac is trading higher by around 2.2%. Diversified financials stock Macquarie Group is up by over 3%.

Materials majors Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton are up by 2.5% and 3.2% respectively. Bluescope Steel, Fortescue Metals, Incitec Pivot, Orica and Onesteel are up by 2.5%-4%. Lihir Gold and Newcrest Mining are also trading with notable gains.

Among energy stocks, Santos is up 3.3%, Woodside Petroleum is gaining nearly 2% and Origin Energy is trading 3% up.

Among other prominent gainers, Leighton Holdings is up by about 4% and WorleyParsons is trading higher by 3.3%.

Shares of Southern Gold Limited skyrocketed this morning on reports that the company has intercepted significant gold mineralization in its first RC drilling program on its projects in northeast Cambodia. The stock is currently up 20% over its previous close.

Magellan Petroleum Australia Ltd says it is to look into building and operating a methanol plant near Darwin. The company said on Tuesday it has signed a heads of agreement and exclusivity agreement with an unnamed methanol producer to conduct a feasibility study into the proposed plant. Under the agreements, Magellan will identify natural gas supplies to supply the plant.

Magellan also would have exclusive rights to supply natural gas to the plant from a broad exclusivity area including onshore and offshore areas in the Northern Territory and Western Australia. The stock has not been traded so far this morning.

Shares of hearing implant maker, Cochlear Ltd are trading weak after the company lowered its full-year earnings guidance due to lower foreign exchange rates. The company said it expects a net profit after tax for fiscal 2009 to grow 13% to A$130.5 million, while core earnings are expected to rise 12% to A$137.7 million.

In economic news, National Australia Bank releases its monthly business survey for June today.

In the currency market, the Australian dollar opened higher on Tuesday following an analyst upgrade for U.S. banks. The Aussie was trading at US$0.7829/34 in early trading, up 1.28% over Monday's close of US$0.7732/34. The Australian dollar is currently trading at 0.7817 to the U.S. dollar.

Among other markets in the Asia-Pacific region, Japan and Singapore are trading sharply higher. Korea and New Zealand are also trading firm this morning. Markets across the region had ended sharply lower on Monday.

Amid positive analyst comments on the financial sector, Wall Street surged higher on Monday with bank stocks leading the way. The major averages saw some further upside going into the close, ending the session at their best levels of the day. The Dow closed up by 185.16 points or 2.3% at 8,331.68, the Nasdaq moved up by 37.18 points or 2.1% percent to 1,793.21 and the S&P 500 rose by 21.92 points or 2.5% to 901.05.

Major European markets closed firmly on the upside, with the German DAX Index and the French CAC 40 Index finishing up by 2.9 percent and 2.3 percent, respectively. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index also rose, posting a gain of 1.7 percent.

Crude oil prices drifted lower on Monday on concerns that a gloomy economic outlook could curb energy demand. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light crude for August delivery slipped 20 cents from Friday's market close to end at US$59.69 a barrel.

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