Stocks edge back

AUSTRALIAN stocks climbed steadily today although mining companies continued to tick lower on weak commodity pricing.

The S&P/ASX 200 index was up 0.5% today at 5292 points.

The materials sector, however, fell another 0.2% on the session despite BHP Billiton gaining 0.4% to $A33.87 and Rio Tinto managing a 0.