The Australian market had a cautious opening as investors waited for the release of building approval figures to give a clearer picture of consumer sentiment.
At 1022 AEDT on Thursday, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 7.1 points, or 0.15 per cent, at 4,715.2 and the broader All Ordinaries index had added 7.1 points, or 0.15 per cent, to 4,737.2.
On the ASX 24, the March share price index futures contract was up seven points at 4,685 with 5,539 contracts traded.
IG Markets analyst Stan Shamu said the Australian market had opened in mildly positive territory as investors waited for the release of Australian building approvals data and Chinese trade figures later on Thursday.
"We're seeing a little bit of caution ahead of these, particularly after retail sales figures were a little bit disappointing yesterday," he said.
"There's a little bit of doubt in the market that the recent rate cuts have had any effect on sentiment."
Australian retail spending slumped 0.1 per cent in November, according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics on Wednesday.
The result was below market forecasts of a 0.3 per cent rise.
In the US on Wednesday 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 6,098.65 points, its highest level since May 2008, before a global financial crisis morphed into a global economic crisis.
The mining giants all opened in negative territory.
Rio Tinto slumped six cents to $66.75, BHP lost eight cents to $37.50 and Fortescue fell two cents to $4.72.
However, the four major banks were off to a slightly positive start.
ANZ was up 10 cents to $25.12, Westpac gained 12 cents to $26.63, National Australia Bank added two cents to $25.37 and Commonwealth Bank jumped 16 cents to $61.56.
National turnover was 102 million shares worth $118.5 million, with 284 stocks up, 137 down and 221 unchanged.
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