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Australia: Shares open up 1.58 per cent


[SYDNEY] Australian stocks gained 1.58 per cent at the open Thursday on the back of a surging Wall Street as fears over China gave way to bargain hunting.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was 81.8 points higher at 5,252.6 in early trade, following a strong rally on US markets after a top Federal Reserve official said the case for a September rate hike had weakened.

"There has been a degree of decoupling in recent days between China's equities... and global equities," ANZ Research said in a note.

"Equity markets are fighting back, but are not yet all that far off their lows.

Market voices on:

"Volatility is now markedly higher and is likely to stay that way over the coming months as nervous traders react - and overreact - to news, particularly relating to the Fed and China." Among major Australian stocks, the Commonwealth Bank was up 1.56 per cent at A$77.32 and fellow banking giant Westpac rose 1.92 per cent to A$31.88.

Global miner BHP Billiton was also higher, jumping 1.34 per cent to A$24.26 while Rio Tinto gained 1.08 per cent to A$49.42.