Weaker-than-expected manufacturing data out of China has capped the gains made on the local share market.
The All Ordinaries added 36 points to 5,073 and the ASX 200 put on 38 points to hit 5,056.
Health care was the strongest sector, followed by banking, with Westpac leading the big four up 1.6 per cent.
The big miners were mixed; BHP ended flat, while Rio Tinto extended last week's losses to slump 0.9 per cent.
Shares in the Ten Network jumped almost 7 per cent after newly appointed chief executive Hamish McLennan bought more than $1 million in the company's stock.
He replaces James Warburton who had only held the role for little more than a year.
Analysts believe the significant changes to the management of the Ten Network may help turn the company around.
The company results season rolled on with Caltex the main winner.
Its shares ended 2.3 per cent higher after it reported a swing back to profitability, making just $57 million last year.
Caltex says it is hopeful the transformation of its Kurnell refinery into an import terminal will underpin its future success.
On the economics front, , but at a slower pace.
It is the fourth month in a row the key survey by HSBC had shown an increase in activity.
While output, new orders and prices increased, there was a fall in export demand, backlog of work and stockpiles.
The Australian dollar fell on the back of the report to 102.8 US cents at 5pm (AEDT).
It was also worth 77.8 euro cents, 67.9 British pence and 96.8 Japanese yen.
West Texas crudes was flat at $US93 a barrel, Tapis was also unchanged at $US119, while spot gold was worth $US1,585 an ounce.