Aust stocks close little changed

Local market steady in thin trade as investors favour energy over miners.

The Australian sharemarket closed little changed today in light trade as investors favoured energy, financial and consumer discretionary stocks over miners after the iron ore price edged lower.

At the 4.15pm (AEST) official market close, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index edged up 8.2 points, or  0.15%, to 5,539.9 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index lifted 9.5 points, or 0.17%, to 5,528.7 points.

CMC chief market strategist Michael McCarthy said local shares started the week with a whimper, rather than the bang expected after Wall Street's strong end to last week.

A slight fall in the iron ore price to $US96.60 per tonne, from $US98 two sessions earlier, caused some jitters. 

"Weaker industrial metals prices curbed investor enthusiasm, and the upcoming company reporting season saw many larger investors sitting on their hands," Mr McCarthy said.

"The energy sector also rose as oil prices firmed on the back of increased nervousness over the Ukraine."