The Australian stock market is trading notably higher on Friday with investors picking up stocks from across various sectors, tracking positive cues from Wall Street where stocks rose sharply overnight after the U.S. Federal Reserve came out with its much awaited monetary policy measures.
Mining stocks are mostly up with strong gains. Energy, financial and industrial stocks are also trading firm.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index is up 50.60 points or 1.1 percent at 4,390. The broader All Ordinaries index is trading at 4,408.4, up 48.6 points or 1.1 percent from its previous close.
Top miners BHP Billiton (BHP, BBL) and Rio Tinto (RIO, RIO.L) are up 1.5 percent and 2.6 percent, respectively.
Among energy stocks, Woodside Petroleum, Santos and Oil Search are up 1.4 to 1.6 percent, while Origin Energy and Caltex Australia are trading higher by 0.7 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively.
In the banking space, ANZ Bank (ANZ), Commonwealth Bank of Australia and National Australia Bank are up 0.5 to 0.7 percent, while Westpac (WBK) is up 1.3 percent from its previous close.
Newcrest Mining, Atlas Iron, PanAust and Regis Resources are trading higher by 5 to 5.5 percent. Oz Minerals, Bluescope Steel, James Hardie Industries, Boart Longyear and Perseus Mining are up 4 to 4.6 percent.
Aurora Oil & Gas, Sims Metal Management, Iluka Resources, Alumina (AWC), Lynas Corporation, Downer EDI, Macquarie Group, Boral, Beach Energy and Lend Lease Group are all trading higher by 2 to 4 percent.
Fortescue Metals shares are under a trading halt following the company's meeting with its bankers overnight. The stock had plunged sharply on Thursday amid rumours that the company had asked its lenders to waive its debt covenants for the next 12 months.
Among other markets in the Asia-Pacific region, Malaysia and South Korea are up sharply. New Zealand and Japan are also trading higher, while Singapore is up marginally.
On Wall Street, stocks ended sharply higher, as traders reacted positively to the Federal Reserve's highly anticipated monetary policy announcement. The Fed announced a plan to increase policy accommodation by purchasing additionally agency mortgage-based securities at a pace of $40 billion per month.
The Dow jumped 206.5 points or 1.6 percent to 13,539.9, the Nasdaq spurted 41.5 points or 1.3 percent to 3,155.8 and the S&P 500 ended up 23.4 points or 1.6 percent, at 1,460.
Major European markets ended mixed on Thursday. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 index moved up by 0.7 percent, while the German DAX index and the French CAC index lost 0.5 percent and 1.2 percent, respectively.
U.S. crude oil ended at a four-month high on Thursday, after the U.S. Federal Reserve announced the much anticipated additional quantitative easing measures to stimulate growth in the world's largest economy.
Crude Oil futures for October delivery jumped $3.70 or 1.3 percent to close at $98.31 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
by RTT Staff Writer
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