ASX charges into lunchtime at 6,000

The Australian share market is trading solidly higher at lunchtime, with upbeat overnight sentiment lifting the local markets to near 10-year highs and the S&P/ASX200 to twice breach the key 6,000 point level.
At 1200 AEDT, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 had slipped back slightly to be up 44.3 points, or 0.74 per cent, at 5,998.1 points.
The ASX200 had twice punched through the 6,000 point level in morning trade - at 1110 AEDT and 1158 AEDT - as a surging global oil market and bullish merger activity out of Wall Street flowed through to the local bourse.
The All Ordinaries was also 44.3 points, or 0.74 per cent, higher at 6,071.5 points at 1200 AEDT, its best performance since January 2008
At midday, the local materials and energy sectors led the gains as iron ore prices rallied and oil prices lifted three per cent on geo-political risks.
Shares in Santos were up by 2.6 per cent, Woodside had lifted 2.3 per cent and Oil Search was 2.1 per cent better off.
With iron ore prices pushing back above $US63 a tonne and the Dalian futures exchange lifting six per cent, Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton gained 2.2 and 2.8 per cent, respectively, while Fortescue Metals was up were up 4.3 and Bluescope Steel was five per cent higher.
Three of the four major banks - ANZ, Commonwealth and National Australia Bank - were trading between 0.4 and 0.7 per cent higher, while Westpac, flush from its $8 billion full-year result was down 0.05 per cent at $32.535.
Shares in Fairfax Media were ahead by 0.45 per cent, to $1.12, after gaining Federal Court approval on Monday to spin off its lucrative Domain business.
Among the market laggards, Telstra was trading 0.3 per cent lower, The A2 Milk Company was down 3.2 per cent and Orica, continuing Monday's losses, was 1.8 per cent lower.
Meanwhile, rallying commodity prices have stalled the Australian dollar's slide against its US counterpart.
The local currency was trading at 76.92 US cents at 1200 AEDT on Tuesday, up from 76.53 on Monday.


* At 1200 AEDT, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 was up 44.3 points, or 0.74 per cent, at 5,998.1 points.


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