Aust stocks close little changed

The Australian sharemarket has closed steady today, with materials supporting the market despite continued weakness in the iron ore price.

The Australian sharemarket has closed steady today, with materials supporting the market despite continued weakness in the iron ore price.

At the 4.15pm (AEST) official market close, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index edged down 1.1 points, or 0.02 per cent, to 5,511.7 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index inched up 0.4 points, or 0.01 per cent, to 5,490.8 points.

In earlier trade, the benchmark index hit 5529.5, its highest point in four weeks. On April 29, the index reached as high as 5,554.5 points.

Investors struggled for direction after the New York and London markets were closed for public holidays overnight.

But CMC Markets sales trader William Leys said the materials sector outperformed.

"Rio Tinto is also in favour after striking a deal with the African nation of Guinea, over its Simandou project," Mr Leys said. 

"On the flip side, Suncorp is feeling the ire of investors... after announcing a $500 million writedown in its life insurance arm."