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Market mixed on earnings results

The share market is relatively flat in early afternoon trade due to mixed reactions to corporate earnings reports.

Shares in wealth manager AMP made large gains after the company managed slight growth in its full year net profit and named a new chief executive, while Wesfarmers shares were lower after the owner of Coles and Bunnings grew its profit by six per cent.

CMC Markets trader Betty Lam said reactions to earnings reports were driving activity on Thursday.

"It looks like it's just been zig zagging through mild negative territory for most of the morning session," she said.

The retail and energy sectors were among the worst performers, while resource stocks were slightly higher and financials were mixed.

Ms Lam said the market had displayed mixed reactions to company earnings so far this month, which had so far either met expectations or exceeded them.

"That's because we did see some analysts revise down their expectations," she said.

"If they hadn't done that, and companies did over perform, traditionally we'd see a lot of support."

"We're also getting that knee-jerk reaction, they're sort of rallying beforehand and then we see a sell off later."

Wesfarmers shares were down 30 cents at $41.63, while Woolworths was down 24.5 cents at $33.365.

AMP was up 18.5 cents, or 4.1 per cent, at $4.73, outperforming the rest of the financials sector.

Commonwealth Bank was up 20 cents at $73.93, NAB had gained 18 cents to $31.50, ANZ was 15 cents higher at $30.30 and Westpac was up 13 cents at $31.64.

Among the miners, BHP Billiton was up 43 cents at $37.33 and Rio Tinto was six cents lower at $61.87.


* At 1301 AEST on Thursday, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 1.7 points, or 0.03 per cent, at 5,159.1 points.

* The broader All Ordinaries index was up 2.1 points, or 0.04 per cent, at 5,143.1 points.

* The September share price index futures contract was 11 points lower at 5,109 points, with 13,880 contracts traded.

* National turnover was 1 billion securities worth $3.04 billion.