The share market has managed a slight gain as weaker manufacturing numbers from China almost outweighed positive reactions to strong earnings reports from major local companies.
"The key driver for us, after a stronger move, was the release of a disappointing PMI figure from China," MC Markets analyst Ric Spooner said.
"We've had a bit of an unusual day because we got a weak lead from US markets but we ended up getting a bit stronger with the general mix of our earnings results."
AMP, Leighton Holdings and Fairfax all performed well after earnings proved better than expected.
Myer was also a standout after again calling on rival David Jones to consider a merger between the two department stores.
Myer shares gained 10 cents to $2.56 while David Jones climbed five cents to $3.25.
Fairfax Media shares soared 16 cents, or 23 per cent, to 88 cents after it reported improved underlying profit and earnings in the first half of the financial year.
Shares in construction and engineering group Leighton added 80 cents to $17.21 after it lifted full year profit by 13 per cent.
AMP shares were 42 cents higher to $4.92 after its full year profit came in ahead of expectations, despite a two per cent fall in full year profit.
But the resources sector missed out on the gains.
BHP Billiton dropped four cents to $39.70, Rio Tinto shed 61 cents to $69.59 and Fortescue Metals edged three cents higher to $5.87.
- The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index added 4.1 points, or 0.08 per cent, to 5,412.3.
- The broader All Ordinaries index gained 5.8 points, or 0.11 per cent, to 5,421.3.
- The March share price index futures contract was flat at 5,377, with 26,896 contracts traded.
- The price of gold in Sydney was $US1,314.00 per fine ounce, down $US2.35 on Wednesday's closing price of $US1,316.35.
- National turnover was 2.15 billion securities worth $6.4 billion.