UPDATE 8am: The sharemarket has opened flat, with little to prompt investors as several Australian states enjoy the Labour Day public holiday.
At 8am, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 2.5 points, or 0.1 per cent, at 5210.5 while the broader All Ordinaries index was up 2.9 points, or 0.1 per cent, at 5208.8.
IG markets analyst Stan Shamu said Australian shares were treading water amid uncertainty and caution over the partial shutdown of the US government.
“Markets are hoping for a quick resolution to the US shutdown,” Mr Shamu said.
“With that in mind we will just see some profit taking. We don't expect miracles in trade, just low volumes.”
According to US treasury secretary Jack Lew, the political impasse will reach crisis on October 17 when the government runs out of its ability to borrow money, and with only $US30 billion cash in hand to meet obligations that can run to $US60 billion a day, it will quickly face default.
On the local front, mining stocks were mixed, with BHP Billiton shedding five cents, or 0.14 per cent, to $35.08, while Rio Tinto found eight cents, or 0.13 per cent, at $60.53, while iron ore pure play Fortescue Mining gained three cents, or 0.63 per cent, to $4.82.
The banks were also mixed, with ANZ up five cents, or 0.16 per cent, to $30.81, and Westpac climbing two cents, or 0.06 per cent, to $32.44, but CBA had dumped 26 cents, or 0.36 per cent, to $71.50, while NAB had lost 9.5 cents, or 0.26 per cent, to $34.81.
In economic news, the Australian Industry Group/Housing Industry Association performance of construction index (PCI) for September is due out, as is the ANZ job advertisements series for the same month.The Labour Day holiday is in NSW, Queensland, South Australia and the ACT.