Energy and financial stocks boost local bourse at noon

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Energy and financial stocks have buoyed the Australian market, which continues to trade higher at midday.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 56.6 points, or 0.98 per cent, at 5,803.3 points at noon (AEDT).

Among the energy giants, Woodside Petroleum had lifted 1.55 per cent to $31.695 and Origin Energy had risen 1.46 per cent to $6.94.

The big four banks were all trading higher with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia leading the pack, up 1.86 per cent to $84.95.

The mining index was also in positive territory, but behind energy and financials, with BHP Billiton up 1.42 per cent at $23.885 and Rio Tinto lifting 1.36 per cent to $59.82.

In local equities news, Myer said it had not been approached by any prospective buyers following an investor buy-up that boosted stocks by almost 20 per cent on Monday.

The department store chain’s shares were down 3.57 per cent to $1.215. Retailer Oroton Group was 4.46 per cent lower at $1.50 after saying it would scrap its interim dividend following a 52 per cent drop in first-half profit to $1.8 million.

But Quintis shares jumped 10 per cent to $1.21 after the sandalwood producer’s managing director Frank Wilson announced his resignation to join an overseas bidder seeking to acquire the company.

Meanwhile, the Australian dollar was flat against the greenback at US76.33 cents amid lower iron ore and copper prices.