Australian shares are marginally firmer after disappointing US jobs numbers convinced investors the US Federal Reserve will maintain its stimulus measures until next year.
Some dividend paying stocks, like the banks, appeared to benefit after official US data showed 148,000 jobs were created in September, well below the 180,000 expected, Patersons Securities economist Tony Farnham said.
"People are going to remain positive on the banks," he said.
"If there is a belief the US is going to continue to get plenty of assistance from the Federal Reserve ... the commodities side and other parts of their economy will continue along in a forward manner."
Official Australian inflation data showing a bigger-than-expected 1.2 per cent consumer price index rise in the September quarter, didn't appear to move the market, because the Reserve Bank of Australia's (RBA) preferred underlying readings did little to stir talk of a near-term rate cut.
"At this stage, the RBA's firmly on hold," Mr Farnham said.
Among the major banks, Westpac lost seven cents at $34.03, ANZ was down one cent to $32.22, but Commonwealth Bank was 14 cents richer at $74.90, and National Australia Bank gained six cents at $36.13.
In the resources sector, mining giant BHP Billiton was 58 cents higher at $37.63, and Rio Tinto was up 45 cents to $64.42.
Gold miner Newcrest was 53 cents, or 4.95 per cent, higher at $11.24.
Meanwhile, AGL Energy Limited lost 33 cents, or 2.12 per cent, to $15.25 after it expected to take a $25 million to $30 million hit to its full-year profit as a result of an unusually warm winter.
But rival energy provider Origin gained seven cents to $14.32 after it announced managing director Grant King's tenure had been extended indefinitely.
- At 1200 AEDT on Wednesday, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 13.9 points, or 0.26 per cent, at 5,387.0 points.
- The broader All Ordinaries index was up 15.2 points, or 0.28 per cent, at 5,386.4 points.
- The December share price index futures contract was 16 points higher at 5,372 points, with 9,517 contracts traded.
- National turnover was 878.0 million securities worth $1.45 billion.