Shares have traded marginally higher on the Australian Securities Exchange as gains in healthcare and consumer discretionary stocks overtook falls in the info-tech sector.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 4.3 points, or 0.06 per cent, to 7,118 at noon AEDT on Wednesday amid directionless trade after US markets and oil slid overnight on another coronavirus scare.
The broader All Ordinaries index fell 3.6 points , or 0.05 per cent, to 7,204.7.
Global equity markets fell on Tuesday after Apple said it was unlikely to meet its sales guidance because of the coronavirus outbreak in China, which has killed more than 2000 people there.
Australian info-tech stocks followed suit after the local market opened on Wednesday on revived concerns about the economic fallout of the epidemic.
By noon, the info-tech index had dropped 2.85 per cent with falls in Altium, Over the Wire, Wisetech Global, EML Payments, Nearmap and Citadel Group.
The local market was also spooked by mentions of coronavirus impacts in a raft of financial reports, including Crown Resorts, Webjet, Corporate Travel and Vicinity Centres.
Crown, Webjet and Corporate Travel shares were higher at midday after their financial reports but Vicinity Centres was down 10.5 cents, or 4.2 per cent, at $2.395.
Big miners Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton were slightly down but Fortescue Metals rose 11.5 cents to $11.175 after reporting a huge first-half profit.
The price of safe haven gold rose overnight and so did Australian gold producers on Wednesday.
Newcrest grew 98 cents, or 3.58 per cent, to $28.37, while Northern Star added 3.11 per cent to $14.26 and Evolution Mining gained 4.2 per cent to $4.47.
The Australian dollar was buying 66.90 US cents at midday AEDT, down from 66.91 US cents at the market closed on Tuesday.