Energy stocks have powered ahead at noon, offsetting losses for the heavyweight banking and resource sectors, with the Australian share market trimming early losses to sit flat.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down just 4.7 points, or 0.08 per cent, at 5,917.1 at 1200 AEDT on Monday, while the All Ordinaries was down 7.0 points, or 0.12 per cent, at 6,004.0.
The Australian dollar was at 72.27 US cents, down from 72.44 US cents on Friday.
Banking and mining shares continued to drag on the market but the local energy sector defied plunging oil prices to leap ahead by 1.48 per cent.
Oil Search Ltd rose 3.05 per cent to $7.935, while Santos was up 2.65 per cent to $6.59, and Woodside Petroleum gained 1.51 per cent to $34.28.
Caltex was still down, losing 0.22 per cent to $27.05.
For the financials, ANZ continued its day in the red with a 3.54 per cent decline to $26.17 after it went ex-dividend, and following reports it plans to tighten assessment of home loan applications.
Macquarie Group was down 1.55 per cent to $121.725, but Commonwealth Bank and Westpac edged ahead, gaining 0.42 and 0.23 per cent respectively.
The mining giants enjoyed opposing fortunes early on, with Rio Tinto up 1.48 per cent to $82.43 after completing its $2.87 billion share buyback, while BHP dropped 0.64 per cent to $33.195.
South 32 was down 1.13 per cent, and Bluescope Steel fell 2.04 per cent in what looks likely to be the sector’s fourth straight session down.
Supermarket giants Woolworths and Wesfarmers reversed earlier losses to be 1.29 and 0.11 per cent ahead respectively.
Utilities were also performing strongly at noon, ahead by 1.7 per cent, but the telco and infotech sectors were down.
Elsewhere, Elders shares have jumped more than 10 per cent to $8.195 after the agribusiness lifted full-year underlying profit 9.1 per cent to $63.7 million.