Aust stocks close little changed

Local market drifts after US holiday late last week, holds above 5,500 threshold.

The Australian sharemarket has closed little changed in subdued trade, holding above the 5,500 psychological threshold despite a lack of Wall Street leads after the US market was closed for Independence Day on Friday.

At the 4.15pm (AEST) official market close, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index edged down 6.1 points, or 0.11%, to 5,518.9 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index fell 5.5 points, or 0.1%, to 5,506.3 points.

CMC chief market strategist Michael McCarthy said shares managed to hold their ground today ahead of a busy week.

"The start of the US reporting season, local reads on confidence and jobs, and inflation and trade data from China could all change the outlook, keeping investors largely on the sidelines today," Mr McCarthy said.

"In this low volume environment, M&A activity took centre stage."

Aristocrat Leisure announced a $US1.283 billion takeover of the US' largest provider of leased gaming machines to tribal casinos, which will expand its US operations, while Wotif.com fielded a $703 million offer from US online travel heavyweight Expedia Group.

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