Australian shares are slightly weaker as the corporate earnings season begins with strong results from several retailers.
The local market had a weak opening on Monday after US shares fell sharply on continued unease over emerging markets.
However, Lonsec senior client adviser Michael Heffernan said the losses were not as bad as they could have been, largely because investors are confident blue chip companies, including the banks, will deliver strong earning reports in February.
"We have seen some good stocks down quite a bit during January, there is more scope for them to go up before their reports," Mr Heffernan said.
"That is giving a bit of heart to the market.
"I think some astute investors could be saying `things are tracking along reasonably well, it's a good chance to top up holdings in those stocks'," he said.
Electronics retailer JB Hi-Fi got the earnings season off to a positive start, with its half year profit growing by more than 10 per cent to $90.3 million, due to stronger sales and improved margins.
Its shares were up 42.5 cents at $18.43.
Country Road, a fashion group with operations in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, posted a record half year profit, and said its annual profit would also grow.
Its shares were unchanged at $4.83.
The heavyweight stocks were weighing on the market, though.
Among the big miners, BHP Billiton had dropped 11 cents at $36.46, Rio Tinto had fallen 21 cents at $65.43 and iron more miner Fortescue Metals had shed four cents to $5.29.
The major banks also were lower, with ANZ down 32.5 cents at $29.80, National Australia Bank down eight cents at $33.17, Westpac had dropped two cents at $30.85 and Commonwealth Bank was off 19 cents at $74.04.
- At 1250 AEDT on Monday, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 17.3 points, or 0.33 per cent, at 5,172.7 points.
- The broader All Ordinaries index was down 17.5 point, or 0.34 per cent, at 5,187.6 points.
- The March share price index futures contract was 22 points lower at 5,121 points, with 17,493 contracts traded.
- National turnover was 919 million securities worth $1.5 billion.