Australian stocks crawled from opening losses to trade slightly higher early Tuesday, primarily on the back of a rally in some mining shares, with the S&P/ASX 200 up 0.2% after solid losses in the past couple of sessions. Iron-ore miners led the way higher after a sharp rebound for the steel-making commodity that began in the previous session. Among the gainers, Atlas Iron Ltd. rose 4.1%, BC Iron Ltd. jumped 8.1%, Mt. Gibson Iron Ltd. added 3.8% with the company also releasing its quarterly revenue numbers, and Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. improved by 6.2%. The top two senior miners -- BHP Billiton Ltd. and Rio Tinto Ltd. -- rose 2% and 2.9%, respectively, while Oz Minerals Ltd. added 7.6% to its share price after reporting improved quarterly production and saying investors were looking at partnering in its South Australia Carrapateena project. Elsewhere, BlueScope Steel Ltd. rose 0.6% as it assessed the impact of a fire at its Port Kembla steelworks near Sydney, and Caltex Australia Ltd. ticked 0.4% higher as operations at its Kurnell Terminal began. Meanwhile, airline shares traded lower amid continuing concerns over the global spread of the Ebola virus, with Qantas Airways Ltd. down 1.2%, and Virgin Australia Holdings Ltd. off 1.3%.
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