Aust shares edge higher

The Australian share market has edged higher, following gains in overseas markets and commodity prices.

The benchmark share index was trading nearly around 0.5 per cent higher in early trade on Wednesday, with gains across most sectors.

"There were positive cues from Wall Street as well as the stabilisation in commodities prices," optionXpress market analyst Ben LeBrun said.

"We are seeing very low volumes, but the signs of a rally are in place. The main thing at this stage is to make up for the lost ground this year."

US stocks climbed higher overnight, buoyed by energy shares and by fairly healthy data on US economic growth, as sliding oil prices stabilised. The Dow Jones industrial average ended nearly one per cent higher.

Energy shares in the local market were also trading higher. Woodside Petroleum rose 21 cents to $27.51, Origin Energy was up nine cents to $4.47, while Oil Search added seven cents at $6.22.

Mining shares also seemed to be making up for the losses in the past few sessions, with BHP Billiton up 20 cents to $17.03, and Rio Tinto climbed $1 to $43.23.

Shares in troubled law firm Slater and Gordon slipped three cents to 95 cents.

The seasoned litigant, which has lost 90 per cent of its share value since taking over Quindell's professional services business in the UK, looks set to face a class action from local rival Maurice Blackburn.

KEY FACTS:

* At 1038 AEDT on Wednesday, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 28.5 points, or 0.56 per cent, at 5,145.

* The broader All Ordinaries index was up 28.2 points, or 0.55 per cent, at 5,195.9.

* On the ASX, the March share price index was up 23 points at 5,094 with 8,380 contracts traded.

* National Turnover was 278.5 million securities traded worth $333.5 million at 1040 AEDT.

Market Data

  • Currencies
    Currencies
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    0.7099-0.0027-0.38%
    AUDUSD=X
    0.4905-0.0015-0.31%
    AUDGBP=X
    0.6273-0.0025-0.40%
    AUDEUR=X