Aust shares flat at noon

Resources stocks continue to weigh on the sharemarket due to investor concerns about the Chinese economy.

A sharp fall in Chinese stocks on Tuesday, due to speculation a weaker property market and falling currency would impact corporate earnings, had spooked investors, IG Markets strategist Stan Shamu said.

The most notable impact was on local iron ore miners.

"The commodities space is going through a tough time," he said.

"Perhaps this is the reason why we've seen the materials space lag today."

Mr Shamu said the trend may continue until there's more clarity on the stability of the world's second largest economy and its equities.

BHP Billiton was down 54 cents at $38.56, Rio Tinto had lost $1.61 at $67.01 and Fortescue Metals was 18 cents lower at $5.66.

Among smaller miners, Atlas Iron was down 3.25 cents at $1.0275, Mount Gibson Iron Ore was down 2.75 cents at 90.25 cents and BC Iron was 29 cents weaker at $4.95.

They were partly offset by the big four banks, which were all higher.

NAB had lifted 25 cents to $34.76, Westpac had gained 16 cents to $33.58, ANZ was up five cents at $32.07 and Commonwealth Bank was 11 cents higher at $75.38.

Shares in Westfield Group were down 22 cents at $10.46 after it announced a near seven per cent slide in its full year profit.

Shares in travel retailer Flight Centre were down 69 cents at $49.11 after it said strong leisure and corporate travel sales had helped lift the company's profit 20 per cent.

Lend Lease was down 45 cents at $11.12 after its half year profit fell by 16 per cent.


* At 1231 AEDT on Wednesday, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up one point, or 0.02 per cent, at 5,434.8.

* The broader All Ordinaries index was up 0.8 points, or 0.01 per cent, at 5,444.8.

* The March share price index futures contract was 14 points higher at 5,424, with 14,670 contracts traded.

* National turnover was 1.04 billion securities worth $2.3 billion.

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