Aust stocks hold gains at noon

Local market remains slightly higher midway through the session

The Australian stock market maintained its gains at noon, as the market continues to digest the coalition's victory in the federal election.

At 1205 AEST, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was 0.31% higher at 5,161.1 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index lifted 0.32% to 5,160.4 points.

Financials were widely stronger.

Commonwealth Bank added 0.29% to $73.37, while ANZ Banking Group lifted 0.4% to $29.81.

National Australia Bank added up 0.55% to $32.95, while Westpac Banking Corporation lifted 0.28% to $31.73.

Investment bank Macquarie Group was flat at $46.17.

In the insurance sector, QBE rose 2.22% to $15.67, Insurance Australia Group lifted 0.27% to $5.565 and Suncorp added 1.67% to $12.78.

Materials were mostly higher, with the major miners both in the black.

BHP Billiton rose 0.92% to $35.485, while Rio Tinto added 0.41% to $61.34.

Fortescue Metals was 1.98% lower at $4.45.

Whitehaven Coal put on 0.94% to $2.14 and Newcrest rallied 2.27% to $13.09.

In the energy sector, Santos fell 0.7% to $14.855, Oil Search added 0.65% to $8.455 and Woodside retreated 0.18% to $39.15.

The retail sector was mixed.

Wesfarmers was 0.35% higher at $40.54, while Woolworths lost 2.16% to $34.47.

Myer slipped 0.18% to $2.855 while rival David Jones added 0.35% to $2.85.

Harvey Norman lost 0.49% to $3.075 and JB Hi-Fi added 0.15 $19.54.

In media, Fairfax Media lifted 1.82% to 56 cents, while 21st Century Fox inched up 0.32% to $34.93.

Ten Network retreated 0.78% to 31.75 cents.

Southern Cross Media added 1.69% to $1.81, while Seven West lifted 2.99% to $2.41.

Meanwhile, Qantas added 3.03% to $1.36, while Telstra lost 0.62% to $4.83.

In economic news, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) housing finance data for July showed a better-than-expected result.

ANZ released its job advertisements series for August, which showed a marked decline in the month.

No major equities news is expected.

In Australia, the market on Friday closed flat as investors sit on their hands ahead of Saturday's federal election.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 2.5 points, or 0.05%, at 5,145.

The broader All Ordinaries index was up 5.6 points, or 0.11%, at 5,144.