Aust stocks close slightly higher

Local market shrugs off iron ore price worries as investors look for bargains.

The Australian sharemarket has shrugged off worries over the iron ore price to close slightly higher today as investors hunt for bargains after recent falls.

At the 4.15pm (AEST) official market close, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index added 11.4 points, or 0.21%, to 5,420.4 points, while the the broader All Ordinaries index also gained 11.4 points, or 0.21%, to 5,401.7 points.

Lonsec senior client adviser and economist Michael Heffernan said investors had overreacted slightly to recent news, such as the federal budget.

"The market's been in for a bit of a rough trot," Mr Heffernan said.

He said today's gains, supported by upbeat offshore leads, showed investors were taking the opportunity to buy good stocks at lower prices.

"It's a reaction to the overshooting in the wrong direction," he said.

"One major impetus is that the banks are doing well after being hard hit after good reports [earlier this month].

"But turnover's not all that great, it's been a bit light on."

Overnight, the iron ore price fell below $US100 a tonne.

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