ASX opens higher on energy, tech trade

Australian shares have risen in early trade, and energy and information technology companies are leading the way.

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark index was up by 44.8 points, or 0.84 per cent, to 5364.6 points after the first 15 minutes of trade on Tuesday.

The All Ordinaries index was 47.7 points higher, or 0.89 per cent, at 5437.2.

Information technology shares had the greatest average gain of 2.29 per cent.

That result follows gains for US counterparts Microsoft, Apple and Amazon overnight, which pushed Wall Street stocks higher.

Energy was the next best-performing sector on the Australian market, up 2.21 per cent after oil prices increased overnight.

Health and utilities stocks were the only sectors to fall, by 0.3 per cent and 0.06 per cent respectively.

Meanwhile, construction industry data for April is due to be published later on Tuesday and the latest estimate of Australian payrolls will be issued.

The Reserve Bank board will announce any change to the cash rate in the afternoon but economists expect it to remain at a record low 0.25 per cent.

JP Morgan Australia chief economist Ben Jarman said: “There aren’t any other obvious policy levers to be pulled right now given how much already has been done.”

The bank cut the rate twice in March and introduced quantitative easing measures as COVID-19 spread across the country.

One Australian dollar bought 64.32 US cents at 1015 AEST, down from 63.90 US cents at Monday’s close.

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