Aust stocks lift at noon

Local market follows Wall St leads, gains ahead of US Federal Reserve meeting.

The Australian stock market is slightly higher at noon, following Wall Street gains as investors eye the United States Federal Reserve's policy meeting, which may provide clues about when it will reduce its stimulus measures.

At 1205 AEDT, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index lifted 0.35% to 5,434.3 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index added 0.34% to 5,429.3  points.

A heavy schedule of US economic indicators showed a 0.1 per cent fall in September retail sales, a 0.1% drop in producer prices, indicating weak inflation, and a 12.8% year-on-year rise in home prices in August, even as many cities saw smaller gains compared with July.

IG analyst Evan Lucas said investors are watching movements in major bank shares as they report earnings this week.

"NAB is up almost 47% over the last 12 months and a pullback would normally not be a red flag, however with only 24 hours to its results and the history of NAB’s trade heading its results I feel the market could be expecting an in-line number rather than a bumper one, and could be a sell-the-fact figure," Mr Lucas said.

"The moves in Westpac could see a similar conclusion being drawn; the company is leading the big four over the past 24 months, up 74%, so yesterday’s pull back was marginal in comparison.

"However, they too tend to rally into results and then pull back after the fact."

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