Aust shares higher at noon

Resources stocks are driving the Australian share market higher after a four-day Christmas break.

Morgans client adviser Luke McElwaine said the local market was performing well following positive leads from the US and was also helped by the attractiveness of the resources sector.

"It seems to be across the board," Mr McElwaine said.

"The market in general looks quite buoyant."

US markets were open on Boxing Day and provided positive leads but weak commodity prices persist, with oil and copper falling to fresh multi-year lows.

Mr McElwaine said some of the market moves were currency related.

"If there's a view that the Aussie dollar has stabilised around 81 cents you might see some buying support, especially as the US has gone well over the last few weeks so that's one of the big drivers."

He said energy-related stocks looked quite cheap, following the sell-off in oil.

Global resources giant BHP Billiton gained 50.5 cents to $29.47, Rio Tinto jumped $1.03 to $57.62 and Fortescue Metals Group was up nine cents to $2.63.

Support for miners comes amid high volatility and weaker commodity prices.

The banking sector was also in positive territory, with Westpac up 29 cents to $33.19, ANZ adding 25 cents to $32.25, National Australia Bank 22 cents higher at $33.60 and Commonwealth Bank was 68 cents better at $85.60.

Property and infrastructure stocks were some of the worst performers.

Dexus Property Group was five cents lower at $7.27 after announcing that it had bought the Lakes Business Park in Botany from the wealthy Mitchell family for $153.5 million.


* At 1200 AEDT on Monday, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 51.6 points, or 0.96 per cent, at 5,446.1 points.

* The broader All Ordinaries index was up 49.2 points, or 0.92 per cent, at 5,418.7 points.

* The March share price index futures contract was up 46 points at 5,413 points, with 5,098 contracts traded.

* National turnover was 321 million securities worth $652 million.

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