Aust shares higher at noon

Australian stocks remain higher after US and European markets rallied overnight.

New York's Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed more than one per cent, while markets across Europe also rose as investor concerns eased over developments in Crimea.

IG market analyst Evan Lucas said local shares had experienced a rosier day after recent weakness.

"It's following on from the relief rally in the US and Europe," Mr Lucas said.

"Every sector in the US was up overnight so this morning most of our sectors are up, disregarding utilities."

The global rebound in equity markets should support local stocks throughout Tuesday, he said.

Firmer iron ore prices have supported the big miners, with BHP Billiton up 60 cents at $36.07, while Rio Tinto had gained 55 cents to $61.83 and Fortescue was one cent higher at $4.92.

The big four banks were also higher, with Westpac up 15 cents at $33.69, Commonwealth Bank up 53 cents at $75.38, National Australia Bank up 38 cents at $34.58 and ANZ was 28 cents higher at $32.34.

Telstra was up three cents at $5.03.


* At 1235 AEDT on Tuesday, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 31.7 points, or 0.6 per cent, at 5,350.4 points.

* The broader All Ordinaries index was up 30.7 points, or 0.58 per cent, at 5,365.9 points.

* The March share price index futures contract was up 30 points at 5,352 points, with 92,267 contracts traded.

* National turnover was 714 million securities worth $1.6 billion.

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