The Australian sharemarket is slightly higher, as strong demand for resources stocks offsets concerns about the US debt ceiling debate.
Invast chief market analyst Peter Esho said a positive production report from mining giant Rio Tinto had provided a boost for the resources sector on Wednesday.
The report showed Rio was on track to reach its production target of 265 million tonnes of iron ore for 2013.
Mr Esho said demand for resources stocks had offset weakness elsewhere in the market due to concerns about the upcoming deadline for the US to raise its debt ceiling.
"The composition of the resource stocks do even out any kind of temporary panic there might be anywhere," he said.
If the US congress does not raise the country's debt ceiling by Friday afternoon (Australian time) it faces the prospect of defaulting on its debt some time in the coming weeks.
Senate Republicans and Democrats have been working on a new proposal to raise the debt ceiling in the short term and end the partial US government shutdown, but a deal so far remains elusive.
BHP Billiton was 38 cents higher at $35.78, while Rio Tinto had gained 85 cents at $64.05, and Fortescue Metals was up 16 cents to $5.42.
Among the major banks, Westpac had gained two cents to $33.26, National Australia Bank was 18 cents higher at $35.19 and ANZ was up four cents at $31.51, but Commonwealth Bank had slipped seven cents to $72.94.
Telstra was three cents lower at $4.97.
- At 1210 AEDT, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was 5.7 points, or 0.11 per cent, higher at 5,264.8 points.
- The broader All Ordinaries index was up 5.8 points, or 0.11 per cent, at 5,265 points.
- The December share price index futures contract was up five points at 5,254 points, with 14,768 contracts traded.
- National turnover was 758 million securities worth $1.86 billion.