Aust stocks flat at noon

Local bourse refuses to budge as investors anticipate Fed stimulus decision.

The Australian stock market was still flat in midday trade as investors wait for the United States Federal Reserve's decision on reducing stimulus.

At 1205 AEST, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index inched down 0.13% to 5,244.5 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index was 0.15% lower at 5,237.2 points.

CMC Markets analyst Ric Spooner said markets were likely to stay relatively flat today as investors await the announcement following the Federal Open Market Committee's two-day meeting, which concludes early Thursday morning, Australian time.

"Market expectations have gradually coalesced around a view that the Fed is about to make a reasonably token beginning to the taper process," he said.

In economic news, the Westpac-Melbourne Institute Leading Index of Economic Activity lifted in July.

Reserve Bank of Australia assistant governor Malcolm Edey (Financial System), is scheduled to be a panel member at the Financial Services Institute of Australasia (FINSIA) Financial Services Conference in Sydney.

No major equities news is expected.

The Australian market yesterday was almost unchanged as strength in the banking sector outweighed weakness among resources stocks.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 3.2 points, or 0.06%, at 5,251.2 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index was up 3.5 points, or 0.07%, to 5,245.2 points.