The Australian share market has opened firmer as positive news out of the US helped banking stocks continue their strong gains.
At 1029 AEDT on Wednesday, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 28.2 points, or 0.58 per cent, at 4,910.9, while the broader All Ordinaries index was up 27.6 points, or 0.56 per cent, at 4,930.2.
On the ASX 24, the March share price index futures contract was up 27 points at 4,872, with 8,149 contracts traded.
The local market took its lead from Wall Street, which finished firmer, following data showing the US services sector continued to expand in January.
The Institute for Supply Management figures stood at 55.2 points, down from December's 55.7 points, but still above the 50-point level signalling expansionary activity.
Following that result, the Dow Jones Industrial Average finished 99.22 points, or 0.71 per cent, higher while the S&P 500 index climbed 15.58 points, or 1.04 per cent.
CommSec markets analyst Steven Daghlian said the good economic news out of the US helped the big four banks, giving the overall equities market a boost.
"Last night we had economic news which was relatively positive," he told AAP.
"The big banks are considered to be safe by the market."
The National Australia Bank led the charge adding 20 cents, or 0.72 per cent, to $27.99.
Commonwealth Bank gained 39 cents, or 0.62 per cent, at 1044 AEDT to hit $64.69.
Westpac added 20 cents, or 0.72 per cent, to $28.12 while ANZ jumped 23 cents, or 0.83 per cent, to $26.86.
Economists are expecting a relatively flat result for Australian retail sales for December when the official figures are released at 1130 AEDT.
Apparel company Globe International is holding a board spill meeting on Wednesday while agribusiness Ruralco Holdings is holding its annual general meeting in Hobart.
National turnover at 1031 AEDT was 343.2 million shares worth $493.6 million.