The Australian stocks market was slightly lower in early trade, while Wall Street delivered a flat lead overnight. Yesterday the local market posted a strong gain of 1.2 per cent, led by materials and energy stocks.
The Australian shares were stronger after an unexpectedly improved employment data. The market was also helped by a rise in Rio Tinto shares on expectation that it would follow its BHP Billiton in reporting upbeat earnings. At the close, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed 40.9 points, or 0.91 per cent higher, at 4554.3 points while the broader All Ordinaries index rose 42.8 points, or 0.94 per cent, to 4575.8 points.