Aust stocks lift at noon

Local market gains as ABS releases better than expected capex data.

The Australian stock market is higher at noon after the release of better than expected capital expenditure data.

At 1205 AEDT, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index added 0.52% to 5,360.4 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index increased 0.51% to 5,352.3 points.

Australian Bureau of Statistics data showed new private capital expenditure lifted 3.6% in the September quarter, beating analyst expectations of a 1.2% fall.

Financials were broadly stronger.

ANZ rose 0.39% to $32.205 and Commonwealth Bank added 0.8% to $77.92.

National Australia Bank rose 0.87% to $34.79 and Westpac rose 0.92% to $33.07.

Investment bank Macquarie Group rose 0.32% to $54.865.

In insurance, IAG edged up 0.08% to $6.105, Suncorp edged up 0.04% to $13.385 and QBE added 1.28% to $15.79.

Materials were mixed, with the major miners in the black.

BHP Billiton lifted 0.48% at $37.43, while rival Rio Tinto rallied 0.9% to $64.88.

Fortescue Metals rose 0.71% to $5.69, while Newcrest dropped 0.51% to $7.73.

Whitehaven Coal retreated 0.16% to $1.6025 and Santos lost 0.52% to $14.265.

Oil Search retreated 0.85% to $8.21, while Woodside Petroleum rose 0.39% to $38.39.

The retail sector was mixed.

Wesfarmers fell 0.5% to $43.42, while rival Woolworths lifted 0.68% to $34.11.

Myer rose 0.35% to $2.85 and rival David Jones retreated 0.82% to $3.015.

Harvey Norman rose 1.09% to $3.245, while JB Hi-Fi rose 1.8% to $20.87.

In media, Fairfax Media lifted 0.84% to 60 cents, 21st Century Fox rose 0.98% to $36.14 and News Corp lifted 1.5% to $19.68.

Ten Network was flat at 28.5 cents, while Seven West lost 0.9% to $2.20 and Southern Cross Media was flat at $1.56.

Blue chip Qantas rallied 3.18% to $1.2175, while Telstra was flat at $5.08.

Wall Street's gains came despite a disappointing report on durable goods, which dipped two% in October due to a big drop in transportation orders and a decline of 0.1% outside of transportation.

Meanwhile, first-time claims for US unemployment benefits fell 10,000 last week to 316,000.

In equities news, Seek and Linc Energy have annual general meetings scheduled.

In Australia, the market yesterday lost ground as commodity price weakness led to losses among the big miners.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index shed 25.7 points, or 0.48%, to 5,324.9.

The broader All Ordinaries index fell 24.1 points, or 0.45%, to 5,332.9.

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