The share market recovered from opening losses to close slightly higher on cautious optimism US politicians will agree on a temporary deal to raise its debt ceiling.
IG market strategist Stan Shamu said it appeared some sort of deal to avoid a debt default was close, with reports that a clean Senate bill vote would go ahead on Wednesday.
"I think the investment community is cautiously optimistic that something will get done and we'll see the extensions we need come tomorrow's session," he said.
Resources stocks were the best performers on Wednesday, with iron ore miners the standouts.
That was due to recent strong Chinese trade balance figures, and the latest production figures from Rio Tinto showing it was on track to reach its iron ore production target.
Rio gained 91 cents, or 1.4 per cent, to $64.11 and BHP Billiton added 38 cents, or 1.1 per cent, to $35.78.
Pure play iron ore miners did even better, with Fortescue Metals up 14 cents, or 2.7 per cent, to $5.40, Mt Gibson Iron up five cents, or 6.5 per cent, to 82 cents and Atlas Iron gained 5.5 cents, or 5.6 per cent, to $1.045.
Blood products and vaccines maker CSL improved after announcing a share buyback worth almost $1 billion, adding 88 cents, or 1.4 per cent, to $66.26.
Telstra dropped four cents to $4.96.
* At the close on Wednesday, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 3.8 points, or 0.07 per cent, at 5,262.9.
* The broader All Ordinaries index was up 5.2 points, or 0.1 per cent, at 5,264.4.
* The December share price index futures contract was up three points at 5,252 points, with 26,563 contracts traded.
* National turnover was 1.7 billion securities worth $4.4 billion.