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Australian stocks end flat, S&P 200 slips 4.2pts

Australian stocks end flat, S&P 200 slips 4.2pts

SYDNEY: The Australian share market has finished flat as lacklustre trade failed to spark momentum.

After almost hitting 6,000 points for the first time in seven years on Monday, investors were unwilling to push the local bourse up to the key level amid thin volumes.

OptionsXpress analyst Ben Le Brun said there had been a lack of direction on Wednesday, with no significant economic data or corporate news out this week.

Commonwealth Bank rose 77 cents to $95.86, Westpac lifted 32 cents to $39.89, National Australia Bank had added 35 cents to $39.30 and ANZ rose 30 cents to $37.19.

Global miner BHP Billiton fell 11 cents to $31.11 and Rio Tinto was 54 cents weaker at $56.83 while Fortescue Metals firmed three cents to $2.04 amid a near two per cent jump in the beleaguered iron ore price.

In the energy sector Woodside Petroleum dropped 31 cents to $35.10 and Santos was five cents weaker at $7.34.

At the close on Wednesday, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was 4.2 points, or 0.07 per cent, higher at 5,973.3.

The broader All Ordinaries index was up 2.6 points, or 0.04 per cent, at 5,937.1, according to preliminary figures.