Aust stocks lift at noon

Local market slightly higher after Wall Street gains on upbeat manufacturing data.

The Australian sharemarket is slightly higher at noon after Wall Street hit a record closing high on robust manufacturing data.

At 12.05pm (AEDT), the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index rose 14.3 points, or 0.27%, to 5,403.5 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index added 13.5 points, or 0.25%, to 5,408.4 points.

The lift also follows a rebound in the price of iron ore, which is now higher than the price it was trading at before recently posting its sharpest one-day drop in four years.

Locally, official data showed building approvals fell sharply in February, printing well below expectations due to weaker demand for apartments.