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Aust stocks trading around 2012 highs

The Australian market was around its 2012 highs in intraday trading, as stronger commodity prices led to gains for the mining giants.

At 1200 AEDT on Tuesday, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 21.4 points, or 0.47 per cent, at 4,579.3 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index had risen 21.4 points, or 0.47 per cent, to 4,583.8 points.

On the ASX 24, the December share price index futures contract was 20 points higher at 4,587 points, with 9,448 contracts traded.

The S&P/ASX200 was trading above its 2012 closing high of 4,571.1 points reached on October 19.

IG Markets analyst Cameron Peacock said strong commodity prices and recent upbeat Chinese data had led to strong gains for the materials sector.

He said while Monday's Chinese trade data was a bit disappointing, it had not stopped the upward momentum of resource stocks.

"Not surprisingly we're seeing the material sector is leading the way," he said.

"Overnight we saw further advances in the iron ore price. It was up about two per cent on Friday and extended its gains last night."

BHP Billiton jumped 53.5 cents to $35.485, Rio Tinto surged 84 cents to $62.14 and Fortescue gained 14 cents to $4.19.

The local market also got a positive lead from offshore with Wall Street finishing higher.

In equity news, the owner of the radio station at the centre of the Duchess of Cambridge prank call affair, Southern Cross Media, was up 2.5 cents, or 2.4 per cent at $1.065, rebounding from a 5.8 per cent fall on Monday.

Among the other media stocks, Ten Network Holdings was flat at 24.5 cents the day after the stock fell about nine per cent following the first part of its $230 million capital raising.

National turnover was 442 million securities worth $1.048 billion, with 394 stocks trading up, 330 down and 317 unchanged.