Australia’s share market improved to be trading almost even after a downbeat first hour from continued US worries about the coronavirus.
The S&P/ASX200 benchmark index was lower by 2.9 points, or 0.04 per cent, to 6048.1 at 1200 AEDT on Tuesday.
The All Ordinaries was higher by 5.3 points, or 0.08 per cent, to 6252.5.
Information technology was leading the way, higher by 2.62 per cent, after good results from Afterpay.
Consumer staples was next best, up 1.62 per cent, helped by Coles reporting.
Materials, which includes the miners, was up 0.09 per cent, but financials was down 0.87 per cent.
Investors seem to have shaken off negativity from US markets, which closed lower on worries about rising virus infections and Washington’s inability to deliver more aid to the economy.
Australia has recorded a 1.6 per cent spike in inflation for the September quarter, attributed to the end of the federal government’s free child care package introduced for the coronavirus lockdown.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics said the cost of child care added 0.9 percentage points to CPI, and was the largest contributor.
It still left annual inflation at a meagre 0.7 per cent after declining 0.3 per cent in the year to June.
Meanwhile Melbourne restaurants, cafes, pubs and retail stores have opened their doors to customers after coronavirus restrictions were eased.
Some businesses welcomed customers in the early hours as Melburnians lapped up freedoms they had not enjoyed for months.
On the ASX, Afterpay rose 6.26 per cent to $101.99 after its first quarter update showed underlying sales improved by 115 per cent to $4.1 billion.
The vendor has nearly doubled its customers to 11.2 million since the first quarter of last year.
Online furniture trader Temple & Webster was higher by 9.48 per cent to $10.79.
Coles was higher by 2.35 per cent to $17.61 after reporting a 10 per cent increase on first quarter sales compared to the same period last year.
Supermarket comparable sales growth for the first four weeks of the second quarter was 6.4 per cent.
The miners were mixed. BHP lost 0.42 per cent to $34.79, Rio Tinto slipped by 0.33 per cent to $91.99 while Fortescue was better by 1.14 per cent to $16.39.
In banking, ANZ lost 1.53 per cent to $19.20, the Commonwealth fell 0.59 per cent to $68.34, NAB shed 0.83 per cent to $18.93 and Westpac was lower by 0.94 per cent to $18.38.
In the US earlier, stocks on Wall Street closed little changed. The Dow and S&P 500 dipped on disappointing earnings and little hope for a US coronavirus stimulus before the US presidential election next week.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 221.37 points, or 0.8 per cent, to 27,464.01, the S&P 500 lost 10.23 points, or 0.30 per cent, to 3,390.74 and the Nasdaq Composite added 72.41 points, or 0.64 per cent, to 11,431.35.
The Aussie dollar was buying 71.25 US cents at 1200 AEDT, lower from 71.35 US cents at the close of trade on Tuesday.