Aust stocks open higher

The Australian share market has opened higher, led by resource giants BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto and financial stocks.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 was up 1.39 per cent at 1014 AEST following a "great session" on Wall Street overnight, Bell Direct equities analyst Julia Lee said.

The S&P 500 rose 1.37 per cent, reaching a two-month high on the back of a rise in home sales, Ms Lee said.

That lift in home sales indicated that the US economy was strong enough to withstand a US central bank interest rate rise, adding confidence to the market, Ms Lee said.

Gains in oil, copper and iron ore prices overnight also helped boost confidence.

Rio shares jumped 92 cents to $45.12, BHP gained 51 cents to $18.89 and Woodside rose 54 cents to $26.99.

The nation's four biggest banks also found support, with the Commonwealth Bank up $1.24 at $78.80, Westpac lifting 74 cents to $30.52, ANZ gaining 55 cents to $25.33 and NAB rising 51 cents to $27.48.

Investment bank Macquarie Group rallied $1.93 to $72.46.

Within the nation's 20 biggest companies, retail giant Wesfarmers was the only firm in red territory after announcing it expected to make a writedown of around $2 billion.

Wesfarmers shares fell 46 cents to $41.51.


* At 1014 AEST on Wednesday, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index was up 73.6 points, or 1.39 per cent, at 5,369.2 points.

* The broader All Ordinaries index was up 69.9 points, or 1.31 per cent, at 5,431.9 points.

* The June share price index futures contract was up 91 points at 5,386 points, with 14,209 contracts traded.

* National turnover was 531.8 million securities traded, worth $808.5 million.

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