Aust stocks pare gains at close

Local market gives up morning gains after weaker than forecast Chinese data.

The Australian stock market has pared morning gains to close flat after Chinese manufacturing data missed expectations.

At the 1615 AEDT official market close, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index inched up 0.08% to 5,412.3 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index edged up 0.11% to 5,421 points.

IG analyst Stan Shamu said risk turned sour in Asia after HSBC's flash manufacturing PMI printed at 48.3 points in February, down from 49.5 in January and a seven-month low.

"This move deeper into contractionary territory is not what the market wanted to see at a time when sentiment is growing increasingly fragile," Mr Shamu said.