SYDNEY, AAP – Australia’s share market was little changed as marginal losses in the heavyweight bank and mining companies were offset by gains in technology and property.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up two points, or 0.02 per cent, to 6976 at 1200 AEST on Tuesday.
The All Ordinaries was higher by 5.3 points, or 0.07 per cent, to 7230.5 points.
The indices have traded modestly higher for most of the session.
The materials sector, which includes miners, was down 0.29 per cent.
The financial sector was down 0.05 per cent.
Information technology had the greatest gains, 2.28 per cent.
The property sector was next best, up 0.44 per cent, while health and consumer staples gained by nearly as much.
US markets closed lower as investors waited for cues from the upcoming corporate earnings season and a key inflation report later this week.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 55.2 points, or 0.16 per cent, to 33,745.4, the S&P 500 lost 0.81 points, or 0.02 per cent, to 4,127.99 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 50.19 points, or 0.36 per cent, to 13,850.00.
US consumer price data for March is due late on Tuesday night (AEST), and an inflation scare could drive bond yields higher.
In Australia, the NAB business conditions index rose eight points to a record 25 index points, while confidence eased three points to an index of 15.
Businesses have extended their rebound from last year’s coronavirus recession, and strong forward orders point to growing activity.
Meanwhile, the opportunity to travel to New Zealand has lifted the mood of Australians.
The weekly ANZ-Roy Morgan consumer confidence index jumped 5.9 per cent, reaching its highest level since September 2019.
Ratings agency Fitch has changed its outlook on two Aussie banks.
Fitch revised its long term issuer rating for ANZ and Westpac from negative to stable. The agency said this reflected improved economic prospects in Australia.
ANZ was down 0.13 per cent to $28.83 and Westpac was lower by 0.23 per cent to $25.24.
Among the other banks in the big four, the Commonwealth was up 0.24 per cent to $86.93 and NAB was down 0.26 per cent to $26.76.
There were some big moves for buy now, pay later stocks.
Splitit said bank card services provider UnionPay would make paying by Splitit available to customers.
UnionPay’s network is used by 55 million businesses, and many in China.
Splitit shares were up 9.61 per cent to 85 cents.
Zip provided third-quarter figures and claimed record quarterly sales of $114.4 million, an 80 per cent increase on the same quarter last year.
The company reported similar percentage increases in businesses using its service, and customer numbers.
Shares rose 9.73 per cent to $9.13.
In mining, Rio Tinto had the greatest losses of the big three miners. Shares were down almost one per cent to $113.74.
The Australian dollar was buying 76.11 US cents at 1200 AEST, lower from 76.12 US cents at Monday’s close.