Aust stocks close little changed

Local market narrows early losses as investors weigh war's effect on commodity prices.

The Australian sharemarket narrowed morning losses to close flat today as investors consider the effect of escalating violence in Iraq on commodity prices.

At the 4.15pm (AEST) official market close, the S&P/ASX200 index added 7.2 points, or 0.13%, at 5,412.3 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index rose 6.9 points, or 0.13%, to 5,390.6 points.

CMC chief market strategist Michael McCarthy said investors are concerned about a fall in iron ore prices, as well as geopolitical tensions in the Middle East, but started to take a more nuanced view, as conflict is likely to have a positive effect on commodity prices.

"The effect on commodity supply had local investors overlooking the potential de-railing of European economic recovery," Mr McCarthy said.

He also noted gains in gold stocks today, as investor demand for the safe haven commodity lifts.

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