Australia Markets closed

Aust stocks flat at noon

Australian shares are flat as weakness in banking stocks offsets gains elsewhere.

CMC Markets chief market analyst Ric Spooner said the big four banks were on the back foot following the release of the interim report from the federal government's financial system inquiry on Tuesday.

"The big four banks are down as some investors contemplate yesterday's release of the interim Murray report," he said.

Commonwealth Bank dropped 25 cents to $81.25, Westpac shed 17 cents to $33.90, NAB fell 12 cents to $33.89 and ANZ lost eight cents to $33.15.

However, the resource sector drove the market up with all the big miners recording gains.

Rio Tinto was up 76 cents at $63.86 after its quarterly report said its iron ore production was up 11 per cent and revenue was 23 per cent higher.

Fortescue Metals Group also lifted, up 17 cents to $4.48, while BHP rose 12 cents to $38.15.

Caltex Australia fell nine cents to $22.53 despite announcing a $200 million contract to supply fuel to the Roy Hill project earlier on Wednesday.

Qantas was also down, dropping 1.25 cents to $1.25, in spite of the federal government's decision to lift the airline's foreign investment cap.


* At 1200 AEST on Wednesday, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was 0.7 points, or 0.01 per cent, higher at 5,512.

* The broader All Ordinaries index was up 1.6 points, or 0.03 per cent, at 5,497.3.

* The September share price index futures contract was one point lower at 5460 with 11,900 contracts traded.

* National turnover was 844.6 million securities worth $1.566 billion.