Aust stocks rise slightly at close

Local market closes the day higher but weak data on Chinese manufacturing slows down momentum.

The local stock market closed slightly higher today, mostly absorbing weak data on Chinese manufacturing that slowed down trading momentum.

At 1615 AEST official market close, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index rose 0.36% to 5,035.1 points and the broader All Ordinaries index rose 0.34% to 5,021.8 points.

China's HSBC flash manufacturing purchasing manager index (PMI) fell to an eleven-month low of 47.7 in July, affecting local investors.

IG analyst Chris Weston called the PMI result "terrible", but said slightly lower than expected Australian inflation figures also affected the market.

"The ASX 200 actually started falling after the CPI print, with consumer names and interestingly materials names under pressure, and the falls accelerated with the weak HSBC print."

CMC Markets analyst Tim Waterer said the Chinese data "applied the brakes to equity market momentum today, with traders again given a further reminder that all is not well in the world’s second largest economy".

"Australian shares absorbed the negative Chinese numbers about as well as could be expected with materials stocks again among the standouts on the ASX," Mr Waterer said.

"The market remained in positive territory on hopes that Chinese stimulus will be forthcoming should economic growth remain in the current downtrend."

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