Aust market opens higher

Australian shares have opened higher, following Wall Street's lead with stocks rallying on the back of solid Chinese export data.

The All Ordinaries was up nearly half a per cent in early trade on Tuesday.

CMC chief market analyst Ric Spooner said local stocks were firmer after positive Chinese export data drove Wall Street higher overnight.

Data, released on Sunday, showed Chinese exports jumped 7.2 per cent year-on-year last month - far exceeding the 6.0 per cent increase expected by economists.

But, Mr Spooner said, the local gains were relatively modest given the Australian market had already rallied on Monday in response to the figures.

"In a way, you could argue that (the US) market was playing catch-up with Asia," he said.

He said investors would turn their attention to further Chinese economic data - retail sales and industrial production for August - in the afternoon.

"I think investors are generally happy to take a wait-and-see attitude to see what happens there," he said.

"The general run of data out of China in the past few months has indicated improvement."

Making news on Tuesday, struggling rural services company Elders said it will slash its staff by 10 per cent as part of more than $25 million in company cuts.

Its shares were up one cent, or 10.53 per cent, at 10.5 cents at 1056 AEST.

Among resource stocks, BHP Billiton gained 33 cents to $35.97 and Rio Tinto was 67 cents higher at $62.62.

Iron ore miner Fortescue had lifted 5.5 cents to $4.50 but goldminer Newcrest Mining was down a cent at $13.23.

The major banks were all stronger, with National Australia Bank 16 cents higher at $33.34, ANZ up five cents to $29.99, Commonwealth Bank had lifted 11 cents to $73.74 and Westpac gained 21 cents to $32.14.

Telstra was up four cents to $4.87.


* At 1058 AEST on Tuesday, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 25.3 points, or 0.49 per cent, at 5,206.8.

* The broader All Ordinaries index was up 24.8 points, or 0.48 per cent, at 5,204.2.

* The September share price index futures contract was 20 points higher at 5,212, with 8,178 contracts traded.

* At 1054 AEST, National turnover was 311.6 million stocks worth $616.6 million.

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