Aust stocks gain at noon

Local market lifts after gains on global bourses, poor confidence survey.

The Australian stock market pared morning gains at noon after lifts on international markets overnight and the release of a private survey showing a drop in business confidence.

At 1205 AEDT, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index put on 0.26%, to 5,401.2 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index rose 0.28% to 5,396.1 points.

In economic news, the Australian Bureau of Statistics released September's lending finance figures.

The National Australia Bank's monthly business survey for October showed a slump in business confidence as conditions stayed weak.

Financials were mostly weaker.

ANZ  fell 0.3% to $32.04.5 and Commonwealth Bank inched up 0.04% to $78.38.

National Australia Bank lost 0.61% to $34.35, and Westpac dropped 1.15% to $32.74.

Investment bank Macquarie Group lifted 0.04% to $54.20.

In insurance, IAG fell 0.16% to $6.11, Suncorp inclined 0.04% to $13.305, and QBE fell 0.07% to $15.34.

Materials were mostly higher.

BHP Billiton was 0.71% higher at $38.18, while rival Rio Tinto fell 0.23% to $64.92.

Fortescue Metals rose 2.39% to $5.57, while Newcrest increased 1.23% to $9.86.

Whitehaven Coal rose 0.48% to $1.5675.

In energy, Oil Search added 1.07% to $8.53, while Santos lifted 0.98% to $14.945 and Woodside Petroleum gained 0.8% to $39.475.

In equities news, News Corporation announced its first quarter earnings, Incitec Pivot revealed its full year results, SP Ausnet posts first half results and Aurora Oil & Gas releases third quarter results.

Charter Hall Group and BC Iron have annual general meetings scheduled.

In Australia, the market yesterday closed lower as investors put aside a positive lead from US markets and took a breather from a strong run upwards in recent months.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index dropped 13.6 points, or 0.25%, to 5,387.1 points.

The broader All Ordinaries index shed also 13.6 points, or 0.25%, to 5,380.8 points.

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