Aust stocks close flat

Local market little changed as upbeat local, US data fails to inspire investors.

The local market finished three per cent lower this month but closed the day flat after a lift in private sector credit data and positive Wall Street leads failed to inspire investors waiting for news from next week's earnings season.

At the 1615 AEDT official market close, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index inched up 0.04% to 5,190 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index inched up 0.11% to 5,205.1 points.

IG analyst Chris Weston said the market is trading at good value or a slight premium and fund managers need compelling reasons to invest, which were not evident today with China closed,  Japan falling in the afternoon and earnings season around the corner.

"In a market like this, people don't want to be leveraged to companies that are missing expectations," Mr Weston said.

"They want to be leveraged to companies with a history of beats that are looking to grow earnings in the right sort of manner."

Gross domestic product data showed the United States economy expanded at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.2 per cent in the fourth quarter, in line with expectations.

The last time the economy expanded by at least 3% annually was before the recession.

said growth continues to be a key macro theme.

"The US is showing everyone how to do it," he said.

"Clearly we are not seeing the sort of growth or inflation expectations that are causing the market to test the credibility of the [Federal Reserve's] current forward guidance just yet."

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