RTTNews - Aided by a strong overnight rally on Wall Street, the Australian market opened higher on Tuesday. The key indices hit their best levels in nearly 9 months in early trades, led by gains posted by energy and materials stocks. However, with investors choosing to take profits at higher levels, the market has pared some gains in subsequent trades.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 rose to 4,084 after opening around 4,060, and is currently trading at 4,063, up 12.7 points or 0.3% over its previous close. The broader All Ordinaries index, which had moved on to 4,079.4, is currently up by 14.3 points or 0.4% at 4,058.5.

On Monday, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 Index advanced 49.5 points or 1.2 percent to close at 4,050.3 while the broader All Ordinaries index gained 51.3 points or 1.3 percent to 4.044.2.

Consumer staples and consumer discretionary stocks are currently trading firm. Healthcare, industrial and financial stocks are exhibiting a mixed trend while telecommunications and utilities are subdued.

Mining major Rio Tinto is up by 3.3% while BHP Billiton is trading with a gain of 1.3%. Bluescope Steel, Fortescue Metals, Lihir Gold, Incitec Pivot and Newcrest Mining are trading higher by 1%-3%. Orica is up with a modest gain.
Energy stocks Woodside Petroleum, Origin Energy and Santos are also trading notably higher.

In the banking sector, National Australia Bank, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, ANZ Bank and Westpac Banking Corporation are trading in the red. Diversified financials major Macquarie Group is up by about 1.5%.

In economic news on Tuesday, the Reserve Bank of Australia will publish minutes of its July 7 monetary policy board meeting and the Australian Bureau of Statistics will release new motor vehicles sales data for June.

In the currency market, the Australian dollar opened higher on Tuesday following another rally on global equity markets. The Aussie was trading at US$0.8162/67 earlier this morning, up from Monday's close of US$0.8084/86 and is currently trading at 0.8125 to the U.S. dollar.

Among other markets in the Asia-Pacific region, Japan and New Zealand are up sharply, with their benchmark indices Nikkei and NZX 50 gaining 1.9% and 1.5% respectively. Korea and Singapore are also trading notably higher.

Stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region had closed on the upside on Monday, with Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index surging up by 3.7%, while South Korea's benchmark KOSPI Index posted a gain of 2.7%.

Boosted by encouraging corporate earnings and reassuring news from CIT Group which secured US$3 billion in financing from some of its largest bondholders, Wall Street ended on a firm note on Monday.

On the economic front, the Conference Board released a report showing that its index of leading economic indicators increased by more than expected in June, although both the coincident index and lagging index continued to decline.

The Dow moved up by 104.21 points or 1.2% to 8,848.15, the Nasdaq surged 22.68 points or 1.2% to 1,909.29 and the S&P 500 ended up 10.74 points or 1.1% at 951.13.

Major European markets closed notably higher, with the German DAX index and the French CAC 40 index finishing up by 1% and 1.6% respectively. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 posted a gain of 1.3%.

Continuing its surge for a fourth straight day amid hopes of a global economic revival, crude oil finished at US$63.98 a barrel on Monday, up 42 cents over Friday's close. Prices had earlier reached a thirteen-day high of US$64.90.

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