Aust stocks close little changed

Local market finishes flat after personal and business credit growth slows.

The Australian stock market has closed little changed after mixed company earnings reports and data showing slower growth in personal and business credit.

At the 1615 AEDT official market close, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index inched down 0.12% to 5,404.8 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index lost 0.1% to 5,415.4 points.

Reserve Bank of Australia data showed the value of loans outstanding to the private sector grew at a slower pace in January.

Overnight, Wall Street rallied after United States Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen hinted the central bank's stimulus tapering program could be slowed if sluggish growth in consumer spending and employment continued.

The Fed would watch to see if the slowdown was a temporary blip due to severe winter weather, she said.

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