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Shares rise early on US stimulus hope

Stock market graph chart with indicator investment trading stock exchange trading market monitor screen close up

The Australian share market has crept almost half a percentage point higher in early trade after US indices climbed on a record jump in retail sales and the prospect of more economic stimulus.

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark index was higher by 26.8 points, or 0.45 per cent, at 5969.1 points after the first 15 minutes of trade on Wednesday.

The All Ordinaries index was 28.5 points, or 0.47 per cent higher, at 6086.6.

Information technology was the best-performing sector, up 1.54 per cent.

Telecommunications was next with a 1.42 per cent rise followed by health at 0.99 per cent.

Financials was lower by 0.06 per cent.

Those figures follow a good day on Wall Street, where all three major US indices posted their third consecutive daily gains.

Commerce Department data showed US retail sales jumped by a record 17.7 per cent in May, blowing past the 8.0 per cent increase analysts expected.

Investor risk appetite was given a further boost by the Trump administration’s anticipated US$1 trillion (A$1.4 trillion) infrastructure package aimed at jump-starting the economy.

There was also hope for overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic. A UK-led drug trial showed low doses of a generic steroid drug called dexamethasone reduced COVID-19 death rates among the most severe cases.

An outbreak in Beijing this week of 100 cases of the virus and a rise in infections in much of the US have made investors worry the effects of the pandemic are far from over.

The Australian dollar was buying 68.80 US cents at 1015 AEST, lower from 69.41 US cents at the close of trade on Tuesday.

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