Aust stocks close flat

Local market little changed after poor employment data, positive earnings.

The Australian stock market has closed little changed today after a string of positive earnings reports and weak labour force data.

At the 1615 AEDT official market close, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index inched down 0.04% to 5,308.1 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index edged down 0.02% to 5,318.7 points.

Official data showed the unemployment rate increased to 6% in January, its highest level in a decade.

But IG chief market strategist Chris Weston said the market "wasn't overly affected" by the weak jobs report that caused a sell-off in the Australian dollar.

"It's flat days in Australia, while slight weakness is seen in Hong Kong, Japan and China," Mr Weston said.

"Traders are watching intently for full-year earnings from Rio Tinto after the bell."

In company earnings, Telstra lifted its first-half profit and interim dividend, while increases in interim profit were also reported by Transurban Group, Goodman Group, ASX and Webjet.

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