Aust stocks open flat

Local market begins little changed after Wall St closes lower ahead of jobs data.

The Australian sharemarket opened flat after Wall Street closed marginally weaker as investors digest a series of economic data ahead of the US jobs report for March.

At the 10.15am (AEDT) official market open, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index edged 3.2 points, or 0.06% lower, to 5,406.7 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index shed 3.2 points, or 0.06%, to 5,412.5 points.

US Commerce Department data showed the nation's trade deficit for February jumped to $US42.3 billion ($A45.87 billion) from $US39.3 billion in January.

Meanwhile, US jobless claims last week increased 16,000 to 326,000.

"We're just seeing a bit of directionless trade, that's a thematic we've seen for the last couple of days and I don't see any reason for that to change today," IG market strategist Chris Weston said.

"This market lacks a catalyst, we need something to spur us on, whether that's something really positive out of China or something out of the US."

The catalyst may come with the release of key US non-farm payrolls employment data for March on Friday night, which is likely to influence trade early next week.

Mr Weston said one reason for the lack of direction on Friday was that the big four banks, which make up a large share of the market, appear to already be fully priced.

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