PERTH - The Australian share market scraped into positive territory for a fourth day despite profit taking that all but countered gains on the back of a strong US lead.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed up 5.2 points, or 0.13 per cent, at 4,000.8 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index gained 5.1 points, or 0.13 per cent, to 3,992.9 points.

On the Sydney Futures Exchange at 1617 AEST, the September share price index contract was seven points lower at 3,968 on 19,739 contracts.

"The market took a breather today after three days of solid gains," CMC Markets analyst David Taylor said.

"Profit taking was the order of the day.

"The lead into today's session was quite positive, but metals markets were virtually flat and that was enough to take the wind out of the market's sales."

Mr Taylor said Telstra, Fortescue and Woolworths were among companies weighing on the bourse on Friday.

Iron ore miner Fortescue dipped eight cents to $3.92.

Defensive stock and telecommunications provider Telstra eased five cents to $3.35 and supermarket chain Woolworths fell 23 cents to $27.19.

Woolworth's rival, Coles owner Wesfarmers, inched five cents higher to $23.55.

Rio Tinto was up eight cents at $52.48 after refuting allegations that its employees in China were engaged in bribery, saying the claims were "wholly without foundation".

BHP Billiton put on 29 cents to $35.20.

The big four banks were mixed. Commonwealth Bank appreciated eight cents to $39.49, ANZ found 11 cents to $16.76, Westpac gained eight cents to $20.26 but National Australia Bank fell 16 cents to $23.79.

Energy stocks were mainly stronger. Woodside jumped $1.20, or 2.9 per cent, to $42.60, Santos lifted 21 cents to $14.13 and Oil Search was unchanged at $5.41.

The spot price of gold in Sydney at 1621 AEST was US$936.80 per fine ounce, up US$1.00 on Thursday's close of US$935.80.

Among gold stocks, Newcrest was down five cents at $30.95, Lihir Gold had dropped five cents to $2.87 and Newmont inched one cent lower to $5.03.

In the headlines on Friday, Macquarie CountryWide Trust said it would sell its interest in a portfolio of US properties for about $1.6 billion.

Its shares soared 10 cents, or 19.42 per cent, to 61.5 cents.

Cooper Energy said its full year oil production jumped 28 per cent, while reserves increased by a third.

Shares in Cooper were steady at 41.5 cents.

Among media stocks, Fairfax was up 3.5 cents at $1.25, News Corp advanced 31 cents to $13.48 and its non-voting scrip had gained 35 cents to $11.63.

The top-traded stock by volume was IT firm Newsat, with 216.99 million shares worth $1.19 million changing hands.

The company said on Friday it had experienced its strongest ever growth in the past 12 months.

Newsat shares were up 0.2 cents, or 50 per cent, at 0.6 cents.

Preliminary market turnover was 1.74 billion shares worth $3.6 billion, with 514 stocks up, 458 down and 326 unchanged.

- AAP