Aust stocks lift at noon

Local market gains after strong Wall Street leads but pulls back from 5-yr high.

The Australian stock market was higher at noon but pulled back from this morning's fresh five-year high, following strong gains on Wall Street.

At 1205 AEDT, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was 0.66% higher at 5,356.6 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index increased 0.66% to 5,356.3 points.

In earlier trade, the benchmark index rose as high as 5,366.1 points.

This was its highest point since the week commencing June 16, 2008 when it peaked at 5,444.2 points.

Financials were mostly higher

ANZ added 1.07% to $32.20, while Commonwealth Bank increased 0.45% to $74.505.

National Australia Bank lifted 0.94% to $36.32, and Westpac rose 0.74% to $34.25.

Macquarie Group rose 1.05% to $50.695.

In insurance, IAG fell 0.34% to $5.83, Suncorp added 0.84% to $13.20, andQBE added 0.58% to $14.675.

Materials were broadly stronger.

BHP Billiton rose 1.12% to $36.15, while rival Rio Tinto lifted 0.68% to $63.88.

Fortescue Metals rose 2.08% to $5.41, while Newcrest surged 1.54% to $10.845.

Whitehaven Coal lifted 0.71% to $1.7625.

Oil Search lost 1.49% to $8.57, Santos rose 0.71% to $14.855 and Woodside Petroleum rose 0.37% to $38.30.

The retail sector was mostly higher.

Wesfarmers rallied 0.43% to $42.17, while Woolworths lifted 2.18% to $34.70.

Myer retreated 1.17% to $2.54 and rival David Jones was flat at $2.83.

Harvey Norman increased 0.94% to $3.23 while JB Hi-Fi lifted 1.08% to $21.49.

In media, Fairfax Media added 1.44% to 52.75 cents, 21st Century Fox fell 0.17% to $35.49 and News Corp inched up 0.06% to $18.01.

Ten Network fell 2.68% to 27.25 cents.

Southern Cross Media retreated 0.54% to $1.85, while Seven West rose 0.21% to $2.385.

Blue chip Qantas fell 4.02% to $1.3725, while Telstra lifted 0.2% to $5.04.

In equities news, wotif.com has its annual general meeting.

In Australia, the market on Friday closed at the highest level in almost five-and-a-half years as China regains its growth momentum.

China, the world's second biggest economy, grew by 7.8% in the year to September, pushing the local market to its highest closing level since June 2008.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index gained 38.4 points, or 0.73%, to 5,321.5 points.

The broader All Ordinaries index added 39.1 points, or 0.74%, to 5,321.

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