The West

UPDATE 9.50am: Australian shares were almost one per cent higher mid-session, with the big banks and miners leading the gains ahead of the release of US jobs figures.

At 9.50am, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 42 points, or 0.94 per cent, at 4555 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index had risen 39 points, or 0.88 per cent, to 4555.3 points.

On the ASX 24, the December share price index futures contract was 44 points higher at 4,559 with 11,072 contracts traded.

Mining giant BHP made solid gains in morning trade, up 30 cents to $34.71, while Rio Tinto advanced 41 cents to $60.33.

Australia's big four banks were also higher.

ANZ was up 20 cents at $24.92, CBA had risen 58 cents to $60.94, NAB was 25 cents firmer at $24.50 and Westpac had advanced 24 cents to $25.71.

City Index chief market analyst Peter Esho said there were few local factors influencing the local market.

“The market is anticipating a good jobs number to come out of the US tonight,” Mr Esho said.

“Traders don't want to get on the back foot and miss any rally early next week, so that's a nice catalyst for our market today.”

He said there were no specific corporate or economic issues affecting the local market.

Wall Street closed firmer - the Dow advanced 0.3 per cent, the S&P500 climbed 0.33 per cent and the NASDAQ rose 0.52 per cent.

In equities news, ANZ is the first Australian bank to be granted approval to open an office in Myanmar (Burma).

Myer shares were two cents lower at $2.15 after it blamed economic conditions, the introduction of the carbon tax and a GST loophole on goods bought overseas for its weak performance.

The spot price of gold in Sydney was $US1702.25 per fine ounce, down $US13.61 from yesterday's local close of $US1688.64 per ounce.

National turnover was 564 million securities worth $1.01 billion, with 469 stocks up, 292 down and 292 unchanged.

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