UPDATE 9.30am: Australian shares are half a per cent higher after the US Congress appeared ready to raise the debt ceiling.
At 9.30am, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 19.3 points, or 0.4 per cent, at 5282.2 while the broader All Ordinaries index was up 17.6 points, or 0.3 per cent, at 5282.
The big banks all gained but the big miners slipped after the US House of Representatives and Senate looked poised to confirm a budget deal that will reopen the US government until January 15, and the government to keep borrowing to pay its bills until February 7.
"There will be some relief ... It's really a resolution that should have been in place anyway," City Index senior market analyst Kara Ordway said.
"Risk appetite will follow through on the back of this decision but certainly, going forward ... I don't think it will have much impact on what we're seeing in the market."
The deal follows a two-week US government shutdown and came a day before a Treasury Department deadline to raise the nation's $US16.7 trillion debt limit.
Australia's big banks were all firmer with ANZ gaining 15 cents to $31.63, Commonwealth Bank up 29 cents to $73.05, National Australia Bank adding 33 cents to $35.44 and Westpac finding 22.5 cents to $33.435.
But the big miners slipped, with BHP Billiton losing five cents to $35.73, Rio Tinto falling six cents to $64.05, and gold miner Newcrest shedding five cents to $10.15. However, Fortescue Metals Group added five cents to $5.45.
The budget deal boosted Wall Street, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the broader S&P 500 both gaining almost 1.4 per cent.Ms Ordway said the US Federal Reserve would likely delay a tapering of its $US85 billion-a-month bond buying program.