Australian shares have closed flat, despite strong individual performances from Telstra, Treasury Wine Estates and QBE as materials and energy stocks came under pressure.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 closed down 0.7 points, or 0.01 per cent, at 6,328.3 points , while the All Ordinaries was down 3.1 points, or 0.05 per cent, at 6,412.6 points.
Shares fell from the open on Thursday as an overnight slide in crude oil prices compounded losses on Wall Street, while a four per cent drop in Chinese iron ore futures hit major miners BHP and Rio Tinto.
BHP closed 2.6 per cent lower at $32.84 while Rio Tinto shed 1.1 per cent to $72.92.
The IT sector bounced however as shares in Telstra jumped 5.9 per cent to a three-month high of $3.06, despite the telco giant posting an 8.4 per cent drop in full-year profit to $3.56 billion and delivering a shrunken final dividend.
Insurer QBE jumped 6.8 per cent to $10.89 on a half-year profit result boosted four per cent to $US358 million ($A496 million).
Origin Energy Ltd fell 6.4 per cent to $9.09 despite lifting full-year revenue by seven per cent to $14.8 billion and more than doubling underlying profit on the back of improved performance in its retail and gas production operations.
Australia’s biggest winemaker, Treasury Wine Estates, jumped 4.5 per cent to $19.41 as its focus on premium wines lifted full-year profit 34 per cent to $360.3 million.
Asian markets were lower as trade tension worries continue on world markets.
Locally the under-pressure Australian dollar got a bounce from official jobs data showing a surprise drop in the unemployment rate to 5.3 per cent in July, down from 5.4 per cent.
The Aussie dollar was at 72.69 US cents at 1700 AEST, up from 72.30 US cents on Wednesday.
ON THE ASX:
* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 closed down 0.7 points, or 0.01 per cent, at 6,328.3 points
* The All Ordinaries was down 3.1 points, or 0.05 per cent, at 6,421.6 points.
* In futures trading the SPI200 futures index was down 12 points, or 0.19 per cent, at 6,282 points.
CURRENCY SNAPSHOT AT 1700 AEST:
One Australian dollar buys:
* 72.69 US cents, from 72.30 US cents on Wednesday
* 880.563 Japanese yen, from 80.441
* 63.90 euro cents, from 63.77
* 57.15 British pence, from 56.84
* 110.40 NZ cents, from 110.29
The spot price of gold in Sydney at 1700 AEST was $US1,175.15 per fine ounce, down from $US1,172.68 per fine ounce on Wednesday.