Aust stocks close little changed

Local market pares morning gains after downbeat business conditions survey.

The Australian sharemarket has given up morning gains to close little changed today after downbeat private surveys on business conditions and job advertisements.

At the 4.15pm (AEST) official market close, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index added 5.7 points, or 0.1%, to 5,469.7 points, while the the broader All Ordinaries index gained 5 points, or 0.09%, to 5,448.5 points.

Lonsec senior client adviser and economist Michael Heffernan said the market ran out of puff this afternoon, easing back after a higher open.

The NAB survey that showed a slip in business conditions was on hand "if people were looking for something to hang their hat on to take a bit of profit", Mr Heffernan said.

"The ANZ job ads survey also showed a bit of easing back.

"Looking for negative things, for explanations as to why we [the market] fell, maybe they were it."

Tomorrow, the Westpac-Melbourne Institute consumer confidence survey will be released, and may show "a bit of a blip up after the belting it got in the budget", Mr Heffernan said.

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