Australian shares are firmer as stronger demand for banking stocks offsets losses across the resources sector.
Investors are continuing to expect the big banks to report strong profit results in coming weeks, Options Xpress market analyst Ben Le Brun said.
"That dividend yield story is still very much alive and well in this market," he said.
But all the major miners went backwards as copper prices fell and China's top lenders reportedly wrote off about $US3.7 billion in bad debt for the first six months of 2013, leading to a spike in Chinese interbank lending rates.
"Those Chinese headlines have probably just taken the wind out of the commodities sail overnight," Mr Le Brun said.
"That's just seen as a little bit of a handbrake on the Chinese economy."
The world's biggest miner BHP Billiton, which had risen for three consecutive days, lost 28 cents to $37.22.
Rio Tinto dropped 19 cents to $63.46 while Fortescue Metals Group lost seven cents to $5.28 as gold miner Newcrest shed 12 cents to $10.97.
But upbeat Chinese manufacturing activity data for October, known as the flash purchasing managers' index, could boost mining stocks later on Thursday, Mr Le Brun said.
Of the big banks, Westpac gained 20 cents to $34.07, ANZ was up 12 cents to $32.09, Commonwealth Bank added 37 cents to $74.99 and National Australia Bank was nine cents higher at $35.56.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.35 per cent as the broad-based S&P 500 slid 0.47 per cent.
Meanwhile, retail conglomerate Wesfarmers lost 41 cents to $41.58 even though its Coles' supermarket chain and liquor stores sold $6.9 million worth of goods during the September quarter, an increase of more than four per cent.
- At 1015 AEDT on Thursday, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 6.4 points, or 0.12 per cent, at 5,362.5 points.
- The broader All Ordinaries index was up 7.3 points, or 0.14 per cent, at 5,364.1 points.
- The December share price index futures contract was six points firmer at 5,352 points, with 6,398 contracts traded.
- National turnover was 177.0 million securities worth $286.6 million.