By a staff reporter
The Australian stock market strengthened at the open after encouraging jobs data in the United States helped Wall Street post its longest winning streak in more than 16 years overnight.
Financial stocks led the market, as the big banks made solid gains.
ANZ Banking Group rose 0.85 per cent to $28.42, while Commonwealth Bank of Australia gained 0.96 per cent to $69.54.
National Australia Bank accelerated 0.75 per cent to $30.92 and Westpac added 1.03 per cent to $30.44.
Westpac chairman Lindsay Maxsted has called for a debate on alternative funding for banks.
Investment bank Macquarie Group climbed 1.12 per cent to $37.85.
Deloitte has been brought in to assess the risk culture within Macquarie Group's private wealth unit as part of Macquarie's efforts to bolster its compliance practices.
In the insurance sector, Insurance Australia Group rose 1.42 per cent to $5.71.
QBE added 1.7 per cent to $13.475, while Suncorp Group grew 1.42 per cent to $11.785.
Resources stocks were mixed at the open.
BHP Billiton rose 0.11 per cent to $35.13, while rival Rio Tinto lost 0.48 per cent $60.41.
Fortescue Metals shed 1.01 per cent to $3.93.
Whitehaven Coal climbed 1.3 per cent to $2.34, while Newcrest added 0.55 per cent to $21.97.
In crude stocks, Woodside inclined 0.69 per cent to $36.49.
Oil Search rose 0.78 per cent up at $7.80, and Santos lost 0.08 per cent to $12.92.
Media stocks were mixed, after communications minister Stephen Conroy dismissed complaints over the government's media reforms.
Fairfax Media added 1.57 per cent to 64.5 cents, while rival News gained 0.54 per cent to $29.73.
Seven West rose 0.43 per cent to $2.34, while rival Ten gained 1.45 per cent to 35 cents.
Southern Cross Media climbed 1.92 per cent higher to $1.595.
Retail stocks were also mixed at the open.
Wesfarmers climbed 1.12 per cent to $42.55, while Woolworths added 1.45 per cent to $35.63.
Myer fell 0.65 per cent to $3.05, and rival David Jones added 0.67 per cent $2.99.
Harvey Norman rose 1.81 per cent to $2.81, while JB Hi-Fi advanced 2.29 per cent to $15.19.
Blue chip Qantas jumped 0.73 per cent to $1.7275, while Telstra lost 0.11 per cent to $4.475.
Qantas domestic chief executive Lyell Strambi plans to add two planes for each one competitor Virgin Australia adds to its fleet.
Stockland advanced 2.4 per cent to $3.84, after the group announced a $115 million redevelopment of its Hervey Bay Shopping Centre in Queensland.
There is no economic data scheduled for release in the day ahead.