The Aussie market is stronger on the day, with the XJO currently 20 points (+0.5%) higher, at 4195.
The gains are fairly widespread with most sectors in the green; the energy, materials and healthcare sectors are the best performers whilst the IT, telco and consumer staples sectors are the worst.
In company news, Gunns advised the market that Richard Chandler Corporation (RCC) does not intent to proceed with its participation in the proposed company equity raising.
RCC had been in the process of due diligence to assess the possibility of investing $150 million in forestry company.
Elsewhere, Qantas announced that negotiations with Malaysian Airlines on a partnership, which included the establishment of a new carrier, ceased after the parties couldn’t agree on commercial terms.
In economic news Australia has recorded a trade deficit in January, the first in 11 months, on weaker exports of gold, iron ore and coal.
Imports outpaced exports by $673 million, from a revised $1.33 billion surplus in December, according to the ABS.
Economists’ forecasts had centred on a surplus of $1.5 billion in January.
Around the region, Asian markets are all trading higher; the Hang Seng is up 0.3% whilst the Nikkei is surging, up 1.6%.