Australian shares have ended the session flat, surrendering morning gains with only mining and energy stocks keeping the bourse above negative territory.
The share market has lost ground for a second consecutive session, while the Australian dollar has been boosted by better than expected retail sales.
The Australian dollar has recouped some of its previous session's losses as the US dollar falls in response to reports that China will move on bond purchases.
An unexpected surge in national building approvals for November has been driven by higher density apartment and townhouse construction in Melbourne.
Australian shares have drifted but still finished above the waterline, as bank and healthcare stocks steered an indecisive market into positive territory.
The Australian dollar has lifted against its US counterpart which, although it has strengthened 0.1 per cent, remains near the bottom of its three-month range.