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November 27 2012, 10:45AM

Australian stocks have opened firmer in quiet trading conditions as market players wait for the latest developments over Greece and the US budget.

At 1031 AEDT, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 11.4 points, or 0.26 per cent, at 4,435.6 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index had risen 9.3 points, or 0.21 per cent, to 4,452.8 points.

On the ASX 24, the December share price index futures contract was 14 points higher at 4,446 points, with 5,422 contracts traded.

CMC Markets chief market strategist Michael McCarthy said Australian investors were staying on the sidelines as they waited for news from Europe regarding a bailout package for Greece and further developments in the US over the looming budget deadline.

There was also a flat lead from Wall Street, which finished mixed.

While the Dow slipped 0.33 per cent and the S&P500 fell 0.2 per cent, the NASDAQ advanced 0.33 per cent.

Moreover, Australian data on private capital expenditure was due out later this week.

"All of that adds up to a lot of sitting on hands," Mr McCarthy said.

Healthcare was the best-performing sector on the market, having climbed 3.98 per cent, according to IRESS data.

The sector was boosted by upgraded earnings guidance from blood products and vaccine supplier CSL, which said 2012/13 net profit was forecast to rise 20 per cent from the prior year, compared with previous guidance of a 12 per cent increase.

CSL was up $3.17, or 6.78 per cent, at $49.95 and in percentage terms it was the best-performing stock on the S&P/ASX20.

Gaming firm Tatts said it had won the rights to operate South Australia's lottery and Keno services for the next 40 years.

Tatts was up 5.5 cents, or 1.94 per cent, at $2.885.

The spot price of gold in Sydney was $US1,749.50 per fine ounce, down 65 US cents from Monday's local close of $US1,750.15 per ounce.

National turnover was 218.2 million securities worth $443.1 million, with 281 stocks up, 268 down and 238 unchanged.