Aust shares open higher

The share market is continuing its upward momentum, opening higher after low inflation data prompted a rally.

US markets were weaker overnight but upbeat quarterly earnings reports released by Apple and Facebook after the close of trade sparked rises in futures markets.

IG market strategist Stan Shamu said investors were pleased at the prospect of interest rates staying low.

"If the banks hold on to these gains and the miners can push higher, we should be in for a positive finish for the week," he told AAP.

A positive finish on Thursday would be a sixth consecutive sessions of gains.

Iron ore miner Atlas Iron jumped 3.25 cents, or 3.4 per cent, to 98.75 cents after it said it had shipped record tonnes during the March quarter and was on track to hit full year guidance.

BHP Billiton had lifted 16 cents to $38.36, Rio Tinto had gained 16 cents to $62.95 and Fortescue Metals had climbed 11.5 cents to $5.365.

Medical technology group ResMed - which makes sleep disorder equipment - reported a rise in net income to $US89.97 million ($A97.20 million) for the three months to March 31.

Its shares climbed 17.5 cents, or 3.43 per cent, to $5.275, after their US-listed stock fell overnight.


* At 1040 AEST on Thursday, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index had added 15.5 points, or 0.28 per cent, to 5,533.3.

* The broader All Ordinaries index had gained 16.4 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 5,518.6.

* On the ASX 24, the June share price index futures contract was 15 points higher at 5,524, with 8,687 contracts traded.

* National turnover was 354 million securities worth $2.3 billion.


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