Firmer commodity prices and resurgent European banking stocks have Australian shares higher in morning trading. Investors are chasing growth related stocks, while former favourites such as Healthcare and Property languish. Holidays overnight in North America and in China today are dampening trading volumes.

Iron ore stocks are in demand following further gains for the red metal. However, South 32 is leading the majors with an almost 4% gain. Energy stocks are the top performers, and the sector is top of the table with a 2% jump. Banks are also in positive territory. These three groups account for most of the gains, leaving the rest of the market chequered.

The gains come despite, or possibly inspired by, an AUD slip below 76 US cents. This weakness is hard to explain in light of commodity strength and support for the CAD and the NOK. If the gains in mining stocks stick, the AUD may have to play catch up.