The Metals & Mining sector was up by 0.6%, with BHP rising by 0.9% as it was upgraded to buy by Goldman Sachs.
Three of the five top movers in the ASX 200 were mining stocks, led by nickel miner Western Areas.
Western Areas added 3.9% as the nickel price hit a two-month high on Friday night.
The other two, South32 and Alumina, are aluminium producers and were heavily traded. Futures for most base metals were higher this afternoon.
Lynas Corporation was slightly higher after reporting its quarterly results.
The biggest loser of the large-cap stocks was Clean TeQ Holdings, which dropped by 6.6% to A$1.06, the lowest price since the start of October.
Celsius Resources was one of the day's big movers among the smaller stocks, jumping by...