Australian stocks inch up to fresh 17-month high from MarketWatch.com - MarketPulse SYDNEY (MarketWatch) -- Australian stocks advanced on Thursday, building on highs not seen since July 2011. The S&P/ASX 200 index edged up 0.1% to 4621.50, with most sectors trading higher. Telecoms were among the stronger performers, with Telstra Corp. up 0.6%. Qantas Airways Ltd. [s; qubsf] gained 1% after it received draft government authorization for its partnership with Emirates, for a five-year period. Rival Virgin Australia Holdings Ltd. dipped 0.7%.