Optimism in US and Asia boosts Australian sharemarket: Afternoon market insights

The Australian sharemarket has strengthened today after positive figures from the Asian and US markets.

The Nasdaq and Nikkei both rose overnight, while Citi chief Stephen Roberts claimed that Australian and US banks are well placed to defend against any possible fallout from Europe.

In an interview with Business Spectator, Roberts says, “I don’t think the flow-on effect to the world’s banks is going to be as great.”

“I do see it being a negative for European financial services for a long time, but I don’t see it being a tidal wave affecting the entire global financial services sector because I think there is an inherent strength in the rest of the world’s banks which will hedge us against that.”

As of 3.30pm AEST the ASX gained 18.30 points to reach 4060.50, while the All Ordinaries gained 17.00 to hit 4106.80.

Investors are preparing themselves after Greece heads towards elections this weekend.

But Tim Waterer, senior trader at CMC, says that investors have “taken some comfort in the knowledge that central banks have their finger on the liquidity-injection trigger should things turn pear shaped at the ballot.”

The Australian dollar has held above parity with the US dollar, hitting 1.002 US cents.

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