The share market clawed back earlier losses after a raft of economic data was released midway through the session.
The All Ordinaries ended a quarter of a per cent higher at 4,494 while the ASX 200 added 14 points to 4,474 after being down as much as 0.4 per cent in early trade.
The Bureau of Statistics today revealed better-than-expected retail sales and international trade figures.
Retail turnover rose half a per cent in September, which is slightly above forecasts.
Other data shows Australia's trade deficit also came in above expectations, shrinking 22 per cent from August to September to $1.5 billion.
However there are some clouds on the horizon with ANZ monthly job ads report showing 4.6 per cent last month, the seventh straight month of declines.
And the leading private inflation gauge by TD Securities shows consumer prices rose in October to sit in the middle of the Reserve Bank's target band.
The market ended mostly higher with retail stocks dragging.
Myer dropped 1.5 per cent, while David Jones slumped just over 4 per cent.
The two bright spots were food retailers Woolworths and Wesfarmers which both rose close to half a per cent after the retail sales data revealed the biggest rise in September was in food.
Westpac was the last of the big four to reveal its full-year profit today, reporting a 15 per cent slide to just under $6 billion.
Last week ANZ and the Commonwealth Bank both showed a rise in profits, while NAB's earnings plunged 22 per cent.
Today bank stocks were mixed; Westpac put on 1.5 per cent while CBA and NAB ended down.
The major miners gained ground, Rio Tinto leading gains up 2.6 per cent.
The Australian dollar rose following the release of today's swathe of data and about 5pm (AEDT) was buying 103.6 US cents.
On the cross rates it was buying 80.7 euro cents, 64.5 British pence and 83.3 Japanese yen.
West Texas crude was down to just below $US85 a barrel, Tapis was down to $US111 and spot gold was worth $US1,679 an ounce.