Aust stocks pare gains at noon

Local market lifts following strong Wall Street leads and a record high Dow close on good jobs data.

The Australian stock market has pared some strong early gains that followed Wall Street leads as the Dow hit a fresh record high.

At the 1205 AEDT the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index added 0.57% to 5,366.4 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index increased 0.56% to 5,360.3 points.

CMC Markets sales trader Niall King said the local market had continued Friday's encouraging performance on the back of strong equities markets overseas.

"With international markets unperturbed by last week’s taper tattle, purchase appetite has returned locally over the past two sessions with the financials the most prominent of the benefactors so far today," Mr King said.

Financials were higher across the board.

ANZ rose 0.58% to $31.865 and Commonwealth Bank added 0.16% to $76.61.

National Australia Bank lifted 0.65% to $34.14 and Westpac rose 0.34% to $32.61.

Investment bank Macquarie Group rose 0.92% to $55.00.

In insurance, IAG rose 0.49% to $6.15, Suncorp rose 0.81% to $13.66 and QBE increased 0.13% to $15.97.

Materials were mixed.

BHP Billiton inched up 0.21% at $37.91, while rival Rio Tinto added 0.18% to $65.40.

Fortescue Metals rose 0.52% to $5.81, while Newcrest slipped 1.18% to $8.40.

Whitehaven Coal gained 0.83% to $1.5275 and Santos lost 0.48% to $14.55.

Oil Search decreased 1.18% to $8.34, while Woodside Petroleum lifted 0.88% to $38.585.

The retail sector was mostly higher, with the big supermarkets in the black.

Wesfarmers rose 0.79% to $44.42, while rival Woolworths added 0.77% to $34.03.

Myer was flat at $2.88 and rival David Jones gained 1.35% to $3.00.

Harvey Norman rose 0.63% to $3.20, while JB Hi-Fi slipped 0.35% to $20.19.

In media, Fairfax Media gained 0.83% to 60.5 cents, 21st Century Fox lifted 0.93% to $35.99 and News Corp fell 0.62% to $19.31.

Ten Network fell 3.39% to 28.5 cents, while Seven West added 1.09% to $2.315 and Southern Cross Media put on 0.62% to $1.625.

Blue chip Qantas gained 0.86% to $1.175, while Telstra rose 0.89% to $5.105.

In equities news, Foxtel chief executive Richard Freudenstein is slated to speak at an AMCHAM lunch in Sydney while ALS is expected to post first half results.

In Australia, the market on Friday finished higher, bringing a four-day losing streak to an end due to good employment news from the United States.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was UP 47.6 points, or 0.9%, higher at 5,335.9.

The broader All Ordinaries index was up 46.0 points, or 0.87%, at 5,330.3.

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