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A passerby looks at the Australia Securities Exchange (ASX Ltd.) board in the Rialto building in Melbourne, Australia, on Tuesday, May. 10, 2011. Treasury Wine Estates Ltd., the world's second-largest winemaker, fell in Sydney trading, giving the company a market value of A$2.1 billion ($2.3 billion) after completing its spinoff from Foster's Group Ltd. Photographer: Carla Gottgens/Bloomberg
The West Australian A passerby looks at the Australia Securities Exchange (ASX Ltd.) board in the Rialto building in Melbourne, Australia, on Tuesday, May. 10, 2011. Treasury Wine Estates Ltd., the world's second-largest winemaker, fell in Sydney trading, giving the company a market value of A$2.1 billion ($2.3 billion) after completing its spinoff from Foster's Group Ltd. Photographer: Carla Gottgens/Bloomberg

The Australian sharemarket was lower mid-session as investors wait for further leads.

At 10.05am, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 17.5 points, or 0.4 per cent, at 4705.5 and the broader All Ordinaries index had fallen 15.7 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 4729.5.

On the ASX 24, the March share price index futures contract was down 16 points at 4676 with 15,391 contracts traded.

CBA chief economist Michael Blythe said it had been a mixed week on the Australian market as soft retail sales and job vacancies were offset by reasonable building approvals numbers.

"On the whole, the data was soft and indicative of an economy that is growing at a modest pace," he said.

The Standard & Poor's 500 hit a five-year high overnight as Wall Street rose after stronger than expected Chinese trade data boosted growth hopes for the world's second-biggest economy.

The S&P 500 closed up 11.1 points, or 0.76 per cent, at 1,472.12.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 80.71 points, or 0.6 per cent, to 13,471.22 and the Nasdaq composite added 15.95 points, or 0.51 per cent, to 3121.76.

In Europe, London's FTSE 100 index of leading companies posted a narrow gain of 0.05 per cent to 6,101.51 points.

The mining giants continued to fall at noon.

BHP Billiton plummeted 69 cents to $36.72, Fortescue fell 13 cents to $4.72 and Rio Tinto tumbled $1.235 to $65.865.

The four major banks were mixed.

ANZ gained seven cents to $25.22, National Australia Bank jumped 10 cents to $25.53 and Westpac added one cent $26.61.

However, Commonwealth Bank dived 15 cents to $61.46.

National turnover was 789 million shares worth $1.3 billion, with 376 stocks up, 365 down and 359 unchanged.