Aust stocks higher at noon

The Australian stock market is modestly higher, putting it on track for a seventh consecutive week of gains.

It has followed the lead of US stocks, which made overnight gains despite political jockeying in Congress and the threat of a looming deadline to raise the US debt ceiling by Tuesday.

CMC Markets chief market analyst Ric Spooner said the fact the price rises were small showed people were taking a wait-and-see attitude ahead of the release of vital US economic and jobs data over the next week and negotiations over the debt ceiling and US budget.

"The share market has got to a new five-year high but we've done that without conviction and just fallen over the line," said.

Telecommunications and utilities stocks were performing well.

Telstra had lifted four cents to $5, Telecom NZ had climbed four cents to $2.08 and TPG had improved 5.5 cents to $4.385.

Investors sent Origin Energy's shares up 19.5 cents to $14.485 after it emerged the company faced ACCC legal action over its door-to-door sales practices.

Meanwhile, AGL shares had increased 11.5 cents to $15.545.

The big four banks were mixed, with ANZ up four cents at $31.60 and Commonwealth climbing 8.5 cents to $73.295, but Westpac was down 1.5 cents to $33.355 and National Australia Bank had dropped nine cents to $35.24

KEY FACTS

* At 1220 AEST on Friday, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 12 points, or 0.23 per cent, at 5,306.5.

* The broader All Ordinaries index was 13.5 points, or 0.26 per cent, higher at 5,301.7.

* The December share price index futures contract was up six points at 5,310, with 10,276 contracts traded.

* National turnover was 791 million securities worth $3.8 billion.

Market Data

  • Currencies
    Currencies
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    0.9326-0.0042-0.45%
    AUDUSD=X
    0.5555-0.0022-0.40%
    AUDGBP=X
    0.6751-0.003-0.44%
    AUDEUR=X
  • Commodities
    Commodities
    NamePriceChange% Chg