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US stocks higher on better global data

US stocks opened higher overnight helped by data showing the US trade deficit narrowed in February and positive indicators in Asia and Europe.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 37.39 points (0.29 per cent) to 12,842.78 in the first five minutes of trade.

The broader S&P 500 gained 3.9 points (0.28 per cent) to 1372.61, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq climbed 8.21 (0.27 per cent) to 3024.67.

“Data around the globe has been generally better than expected, and that, coupled with the mixed Italian auctions, has aided global equity markets,” said Briefing.com.

Eurozone industrial production rose in February after being either flat or falling in previous months, official figures showed overnight.

Meanwhile the US trade gap shrank in February on the back of an unexpected drop in imports, mainly from China, according to Commerce Department data released overnight.

The US trade deficit fell to a seasonally adjusted $US46 billion ($44.78 billion), from a revised $US52.5 billion ($51.11 billion) in January, sharply below the average analyst estimate of $US53 billion ($51.59 billion).

Traders appeared to shrug off an unexpected rise in weekly data on initial unemployment claims, an indicator of the pace of layoffs.


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