The Australian share market held on to most of its initial US-inspired gains at midday as the Australian dollar tried to sustain a foothold above 73 US cents.
The S&P/ASX200 benchmark index was up 43 points, or 0.7 per cent, to 5937.8 points at 1200 AEST on Wednesday.
The All Ordinaries index rose 48.9 points, or 0.8 per cent, to 6128.2.
Most sectors were in positive territory apart from financials, where the four major banks were mixed.
Miners remained largely upbeat after China’s positive economic data on Tuesday with BHP up 1.75 per cent at $38.14 and Rio Tinto rising 1.3 per cent to $103.50.
The latest Westpac-Melbourne Institute leading index continued to show a gradual improvement after hitting a low-point in April, but still signalled an Australian economic growth rate below the long-term trend of 2.75 per cent.
Key labour force figures are released on Thursday.
Commonwealth Bank was up 0.2 per cent at $65.17, but the ANZ was down 0.5 per cent at $17.26, NAB was off 0.35 per cent at $17.10 and Westpac was 0.3 per cent lower at $16.67.
Interest rate futures continue to imply a Reserve Bank cash rate of just 0.1 per cent by the end of the year, compared to the current record low rate of 0.25 per cent that has stood since March in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the central bank’s board meeting earlier this month, it agreed to maintain highly accommodative settings as long as required and “to continue to consider how further monetary measures could support the recovery”.
US stocks firmed on Tuesday on the hope the US Federal Reserve would also stick with its supportive policy stance after its two-day meeting.
Chair Jerome Powell will announce the result of its two-day meeting during Wednesday’s Wall Street session.
US stocks edged higher on Tuesday, led by the tech sector as it tries to recoup its recent steep losses and despite heavyweight Apple turning flat following a product event.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 2.27 points, or 0.01 per cent, to 27,995.6, the S&P 500 gained 17.66 points, or 0.52 per cent, to 3,401.2 and the Nasdaq Composite added 133.67 points, or 1.21 per cent, to 11,190.32.
The Aussie dollar was buying 73.13 US cents at 1200 AEST, above an earlier low of 72.88 US cents but just down from 73.18 US cents at the close on Tuesday.