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Australian Market Trades Higher

The Australian stock market is trading marginally higher on Tuesday, with investors indulging in some selective buying, tracking a positive lead from Wall Street.

Financial, property trusts and telecommunications stocks are trading higher, while energy, mining, industrial and consumer discretionary stocks are trading mixed.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index, which declined to around 4,978 after rising to 4,999.3 in early trades, is currently up 10.7 points or 0.2 percent at 4,991.8. The broader All Ordinaries index is up 10.2 points or 0.2 percent at 4,975.8.

Among bank stocks, ANZ Bank, Commonwealth Bank of Australia and National Australia Bank are up with modest gains, and Westpac (WBK) is trading more than a percent up. Bank of Queensland is up 0.4 percent, while Bendigo & Adelaide Bank is trading weak, losing about 0.6 percent.

Among miners, BHP Billiton (BHP) is up 0.3 percent, while Rio Tinto (RIO) is down marginally.

Treasury Wine Estates shares, which plunged sharply on Monday following the company's announcement that it would take an A$160 million hit as a result of a glut in its US wine stocks, is trading weak once again, losing as much as 7.5 percent.

Primary Healthcare, Orica and PanAust are trading lower by 2 to 2.8 percent. Echo Entertainment Group, News Corp. (NWS), Oz Minerals, Newcrest Mining and Twenty-First Century Fox are also trading notably lower.

Meanwhile, Atlas Iron, Flight Centre, UGL and Downer EDI are up 2 to 3 percent. Regis Resources, Arrium, Beach Energy, Henderson Group, Tabcorp Holdings, CFS Retail Property Trust and SP Ausnet are up 1.3 to 1.8 percent.

In the currency market, the Australian dollar opened higher against the U.S. dollar. In early trades, the local unit was quoting at US$0.9099, up from Monday's close of US$0.9087.

On Wall Street, stocks posted modest gains on Monday, although buying interest was somewhat subdued amid mixed economic news.

The major averages gave back some ground going into the close but managed to end the day in positive territory. The Dow edged up by about 20 points or 0.1 percent to 15,484.3, the Nasdaq rose 7.4 points or 0.2 percent to 3,607.5 and the S&P 500 inched up 2.3 points or 0.1 percent to 1,682.5.

With the modest gains on the day, the Dow and the S&P 500 reached new record closing highs, while the Nasdaq reached its best closing level since 2000. Major European markets too ended higher on Monday. While the German DAX index moved up 0.3 percent, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 index and the French CAC 40 index both climbed by 0.6 percent.

U.S. crude oil ended higher for a second straight session on Monday, on some mixed macroeconomic data with investors weighing some soft Chinese gross domestic product data and the developments in Egypt that threatens to disrupt oil shipments from the Middle East.

Crude for August delivery ended up $0.37 or 0.3 percent at $106.32 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

by RTT Staff Writer

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