Aust stocks stronger at noon

Local market pushes higher after BHP lifts production forecast following mixed performance on international markets overnight.

The Australian stock market lifted to a fresh five-year high at noon after BHP Billiton Ltd lifted its full-year production guidance, following a mixed performance on international markets overnight.

At 1205 AEDT, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 was 0.35 per cent higher at 5,370.7 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index rose 0.34 per cent to 5,369.5 points.

BHP (BHP) increased full-year iron ore production guidance after posting a 23% increase in production in the September quarter, compared to the previous corresponding period.

With the United States government shutdown and default crisis out of the way for the time being, investors are now eyeing the delayed release of US non-farm payrolls data.

The figures, delayed because of the shutdown, will give investors a better idea of the state of the US economy and could have a bearing on when the Federal Reserve winds down its stimulus.

Locally, no major economic news is expected.

In equities news, Brambles Industries, Bradken, McMillan Shakespeare, Bega Cheese and Blackmores all have annual general meetings scheduled.

In Australia, the market yesterday closed at a new five-and-a-half-year closing high, after US and European markets lifted at the end of last week as US government services were re-opened.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was UP 30.3 points, or 0.57%, higher at 5,351.8 points.

The broader All Ordinaries index was up 30.5 points, or 0.57%, at 5,351.5 points.