Aust stocks close little changed

Local market pares morning gains after downbeat Chinese manufacturing data.

The Australian sharemarket pared morning gains today to close flat after downbeat Chinese manufacturing data and a record profit from Westpac that wasn't enough to spark buying.

At the 4.15pm (AEST) official market close, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index inched up 4.1 points, or 0.08%, to 5,462.2 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index edged up 4.6 points, or 0.08%, to 5,443.4 points.

Maxim Asset Management investment director Winston Sammut said the flat close was a combination of the Chinese data and general concerns about consumer confidence ahead of next week's federal budget.

"People are looking for any reason to step back or take their time," Mr Sammut said.