The Australian share market has started the day's trade on a positive note, following strong gains on Wall Street overnight on hopes a deal to avert the fiscal cliff will be reached soon.
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on May 1, 2012.
European markets ended mixed, while Wall Street rose in the order of 0.8-1.3pct following talks between President Obama and the Republican House speaker John Boehner over proposed tax hikes for wealthy Americans, which has been one of the stumbling blocks in the talks.
At lunchtime in the East, the All Ordinaries Index (XAO) is up 28.3pts or 0.6pct to 4616.3.
Financial stocks look strong, with the sector up 0.6pct while energy stocks are firmer by 0.2pct on average and the big miners continues their recent dream run; Rio Tinto (RIO) shares firmer by 1.5pct to $64.47.
In company news, paint maker DuluxGroup's (DLX) drawn out takeover of building products maker Alesco (ALS) has reached final stages after it took a 90.1pct stake in the garage door supplier yesterday. Dulux will now begin a hostile takeover of the remaining 9.9pct shares in Alesco it doesn't own. DLX made the hostile bid back in May, with ALS accepting the bid in early October after a wrangle over payment of dividends to shareholders. DLX shares are up 0.4pct t $3.725 while ALS is steady at $1.615.
Uranium producer Paladin (PDN) has received a broker upgrade, sending its share price up 6.5pct to $1.0275. Energy Resources of Australia (ERA), the world's 4th largest uranium producer, is rallying off the back of the upgrade, ERA shares are firmer by 6.9pct to $1.325.
Minutes from the Reserve Bank's December board meeting have just been released, with the Central Bank pointing to the mining slowdown, weaker jobs outlook and slower wages growth for the cut in the official cash rate.
The Aussie dollar remains steady at US105.48c mid-session.
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