The ASX is on a tear

Australian stocks have taken off.

The local market opened sharply down and then jumped higher, before falling again.

However, bargain hunters soon moved in to pick up financial stocks, pushing that sector up 3.5% and moving the rest of the market higher.

Local investors ignored big falls in the US and Europe overnight. The S&P 500 lost 3.9%, with energy stocks down 5.2% as they were hit by falling oil prices.

On the local market, all 10 sectors were in the red in the first few minutes of trading but investors soon started buying up after yesterday’s 4.09% fall.

All four banks are in positive territory, with Westpac gaining 5.14% to $30.96 after losing 6% Monday. The NAB gained 4.5% to $31.06, Commonwealth 3.74% to $75.18 and the ANZ 4.13% to $28.02.

Other financials were also doing well. Macquarie Bank was up 5.8% to $74.41 and AMP 2.24% to $5.93.

BHP, which is due to release its annual results later today, was up 1% to $23.13 after losing 5% yesterday. Fortescue was up 10.7% to $1.81 today after dropping 14.65%.

Energy stocks were recovering, with Santos up 0.6% to $5.00.

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