The Australian stock market opened lower on Wednesday after US stocks dropped and oil and metals prices slipped overnight.
Australian shares gave up early gains after disappointing trade numbers from China raised concerns that Chinese economy is cooling. The market closed slightly higher as earnings reports from market heavyweights BHP Billiton and Commonwealth Bank helped the rise. At the close, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was 8.3 points higher, or 0.2 per cent, at 4513.4. The broader All Ordinaries index rose 12.3 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 4533.
Wall Street declined overnight on a weak housing report, despite some strong earnings results. The Commerce Department said that construction starts on privately owned homes rose 0.5 per cent to 590,000, lower than expectations.
US stocks fell overnight ahead of the Federal Reserve's latest decision on monetary policy and guidance on the outlook for recovery from the recession. The market was also weighed down by the worries that the banking sector has yet to fundamentally improve.
An encouraging employment report sent the US stocks to a more than nine months high on Friday. The Labor Department released a report that the country's unemployment rate unexpectedly dropped to 9.4 per cent, its first decline in 15 months.
Australian shares gained 1.3% on Friday but still lost 4.3% for the week. The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was 49.8 points, higher at 3773.2 and the broader All Ordinaries index was also up 1.3%, or 48.1 points, at 3758.9. The local market is expected to soften on jitters over the US economy.
Yesterday the Australian shares fell in a day of light trading as the market had a breather after a few weeks of rally. The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index were 1.2%, or 48.8 points, lower at 3877.2, while the broader All Ordinaries index was down 1.2%, or 46.9 points, at 3863.6.
Australian shares posted a strong gain yesterday. The better-than-expected employment data also boosted the stocks market. At the close, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index rose 1.9%, or 71.6 points, at 3938.7, while the broader All Ordinaries index was up 1.9%, or 72 points, at 3912.1.
The Australian share ended slightly lower on Wednesday despite strong lead on Wall Street. The market is still seeking direction amid global volatility. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index was down 9.2 points, or 0.25 per cent, to 3668.2, while the All Ordinaries fell 5.9 points to 3627.2.
Yesterday the Australian share market weathered the bad lead from Wall Street and ended with a modest drop. The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed down 0.4%, or 14.3 points, at 3474.4, while the All Ordinaries fell 0.3%, or 10.5 points, at 3418.1. Today traders are expecting Rio Tinto's earnings report with a profit increase and details of the talks with Chinalco over the A$30 billion cash injection deal.