Aust stocks close flat

Local market little changed as investors wait for tomorrow's US Fed statement.

The Australian sharemarket has closed little changed today as investors wait for tomorrow morning's US Federal Reserve statement on monetary policy, as well as local bank earnings reports.

At the 4.15pm (AEST) official market close, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index edged up 2.5 points, or 0.05%, to 5,489.1 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index inched up 3.9 points, or 0.07%, to 5,470.8 points.

Locally, Reserve Bank of Australia data showed the value of loans outstanding continued to grow at a steady pace in March.

During the day's trade, the banks got off to a positive start but later succumbed to profit taking as analysts remain pessimistic about recent share price gains ahead of earnings reports, IG market strategist Stan Shamu said.

"The recent run in share prices for the banks was quite astonishing and it seems even big dividend expectations are not enough to justify the premium," Mr Shamu said.

"From a trading perspective the trend is king and no doubt the recent reversal would have seen some profit-taking as trailing stops are hit.

"Traders will now likely be looking to buy on a retest of the uptrend support in the short term."

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group will release its first-half results tomorrow, with Macquarie Group to follow on Friday and Westpac and NAB due out next week.

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