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The Australian sharemarket is set to open flat.
The West Australian The Australian sharemarket is set to open flat.

The Australian market fell slightly mid-session as investors wait for the US earnings season to get into full swing.

At 9.02am, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 0.9 points, or 0.02 per cent, at 4707.2 and the broader All Ordinaries index had fallen 0.6 points, or 0.01 per cent, to 4729.5.

On the ASX 24, the March share price index futures contract was up one points at 4679 with 9062 contracts traded.

RBS Morgans Brisbane private client adviser Bruce Smith said the Australian market was lacklustre at noon as it waited for more news from the US earnings season.

"I think the market is just waiting to see what comes out of the US earnings season," he said.

In the US, the Dow Jones industrial average gained 61.66 points, or 0.46 per cent, to 13,390.51, coming off of two days of losses.

In Europe London's benchmark FTSE 100 index of top companies rose 0.74 per cent to close at 6098.65 points, its highest level since May 2008.

In local economic news, Australian residential building approvals rose 2.9 per cent to 13,307 units in November.

Economists' forecasts had centred on a 3 per cent rise in approvals for November.

The mining giants were all down at noon.

Rio Tinto slumped 14 cents to $66.67, BHP lost 13 cents to $37.45 and Fortescue fell 1.5 cents to $4.725.

The four major banks were mixed at noon.

ANZ was up 7.5 cents to $25.12 and Commonwealth Bank jumped 24 cents to $61.64.

However, Westpac fell 4.5 cents to $26.465 and National Australia Bank tumbled 4.5 cents to $25.305.

National turnover was 506 million shares worth $1.026 billion, with 351 stocks up, 363 down and 316 unchanged.