BHP, banks lead Australian stocks higher ahead of CPI report

Photo: Warren Little/Getty Images

Australian stocks raced higher as trade opened on Wednesday.

The scorecard so far (10:45 am)

ASX 200: 5,920.30 +47.82 +0.83%
All Ordinaries: 5,946.80 +46.08 +0.78%
AUD/USD: 0.7541 +0.0005 +0.07%

Investors are taking cues from rising confidence in Wall Street as corporate results and hopes of US tax reforms buoyed optimism. US president Donald Trump is expected to unveil a tax plan that could cut the corporate tax rate.

BHP Billiton climbed 1% to $24.19. The world’s largest miner cut its full-year production forecast for coking coal and copper on bad weather at mines in Australia and workers strike in Chile.

It also said it was progressing the sale of onshore US petroleum interests at two key fields at a time when activist shareholder Elliott Management is pushing it to separate the division from the company.

The four largest banks climbed ahead of March quarter inflation report. While the general consensus is that interest rates will remain on hold for the rest of 2017, the CPI data has the capacity to surprise and can influence the RBA’s interest rate outlook.

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