SYDNEY, AAP – A mixed Australian share market was only a little higher as investors tried to take in annual meeting messages and quarterly updates.

The market was about 0.2 per cent higher on Thursday after US markets remained upbeat about third-quarter earnings.

The top ASX category was property, followed by the heavyweight materials and financials.

The worst category was consumer staples. Coles and Woolworths shares were each down by about half a per cent at 1200 AEDT.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was higher by 14.2 points, or 0.19 per cent, to 7427.9.

The All Ordinaries was up 12 points, or 0.15 per cent, to 7739.2.

Overseas, troubled property giant Evergrande has abandoned plans to sell a $US2.6 billion ($A3.5 billion) stake in one of its key units.

Evergrande was in talks to sell a 50.1 per cent stake in its property services arm to smaller rival Hopson Development Holdings.

Yet Evergrande has since said Hopson had not met the “prerequisite to make a general offer”.

In ASX company news, casino operator Crown warned it is still facing uncertainty due to regulatory issues and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Interim chair Jane Halton said the board was determined to address the company’s shortcomings of the past.

The group is facing an ongoing royal commission in Western Australia and awaiting the final report of another in Victoria.

Shares were down almost one per cent to $9.43.

Meanwhile, Qantas boss Alan Joyce expects the group will regain pre-pandemic domestic capacity by January as more states and territories allow visitors.

Mr Joyce said he expected Western Australia to open its borders by about February.

Shares were down almost one per cent to $5.67.

BlueScope Steel was among the best performing miners after raising its first-half earnings guidance.

Strong demand in Australia and the US had led to an earnings range of up to $2.3 billion. The range had previously been up to $2 billion.

Shares were up 2.4 per cent to $20.61.

Among bigger rivals, BHP and Fortescue each gained almost one per cent. Rio Tinto shed 0.44 per cent.

In banking, share price movements were mixed. ANZ lost 0.26 per cent. The Commonwealth Bank was even. NAB and Westpac gained less than one per cent.

Woodside Petroleum improved third-quarter sales through a higher liquefied natural gas price.

Sales revenue was up 19 per cent on the second quarter after the price per barrel jumped by 28 per cent.

CEO Meg O’Neill said she expected to see more benefit from stronger prices in the fourth quarter.

Shares were down 0.85 per cent to $24.31.

The Australian dollar was buying 75.27 US cents at 1200 AEDT, higher from 74.92 US cents at Wednesday’s close.