Aust stocks close slightly higher

Local market edges into the black, boosted by gains in the major miners.

The Australian sharemarket closed slightly higher today, finishing just above the 5,400 threshold as investors lacked catalysts to push the index any further into the black.

At the 4.15pm (AEDT) official market close, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index rose 14.1 points, or 0.26%, to 5,403.3 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index added 13.9 points, or 0.26%, to 5,408.8 points.

The major miners lifted after the iron ore price rebounded to sit higher than it was before recently posting its sharpest one-day drop in four years, and following yesterday's slight lift in China's official gauge of its manufacturing sector.

But CMC Markets chief market strategist Michael McCarthy said the overall market gains were less pleasing.

"It appears the approach over the last week to the post-GFC sharemarket highs has raised investor nervousness," Mr McCarthy said.

"The result is rotation between sectors, with selling in utilities, telcos and finance stocks funding the purchase of miners."