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The ASX 200 is off to a strong start for the last day of the trading week, opening higher in line with a Wall Street rally.

Just before midday AEDT, the ASX 200 is up 49.1 points, or 0.69 per cent, at 7163.9 points.

Foreign markets

The S&P 500 closed around 4050 points – continuing its upward trend that’s spanned three weeks.  

The NASDAQ gained over half a per cent.

All but one sector rallied overnight, and perhaps not surprisingly, it was financials falling short, down 1.5 points.

Big banks dropped slightly as the US government called for reforms following recent bank collapses.

Exchange rates

Meanwhile, the Aussie dollar pulled back, buying 67 US cents and 54 British pence.

It’s also trading at 62 Euros, 89.7 Japanese Yen and 10,085 Indonesian Rupiah.


In commodities, Crude Oil has climbed 2 per cent.

Gold is also up, gaining more than half a per cent, and silver is making strong gains — up more than 2 per cent.

Iron ore is up one per cent at US$125.50 per tonne, while natural gas is hovering up and down, sitting around US$2.10.

Today’s top stories

The Australian construction industry is feeling the heat, and a number of companies have fallen over following increases in the cost of materials and labour.

Australia’s 12th largest builder, Porter Davis Homes, entered liquidation, leaving 1700 projects in Victoria and Queensland unfinished.

And the federal government says it will push for an increase in the minimum wage to match inflation — which is around 7 per cent.

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