The Australian sharemarket closed lower but recovered from solid losses in the middle of the day to be only slightly down.
At the close, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 10.9 points, or 0.21 per cent, at 5295 points while the broader All Ordinaries index was down 8.8 points, or 0.17 per cent, at 5307.6 points.
The market moved modestly higher led by cyclical stocks such as miners on government data showing China's economy grew by 7.7 per cent last year and 7.7 per cent for the December quarter.
However Australia's banks and most of the other top 10 heavyweight stocks all fell dragging down the overall market.
Morgans broker Troy Fidler said investors were switching out of the banks after a stellar 2013 believing such growth was highly unlikely again.
“People are looking for somewhere else to park their money and looking for the similar returns they had ... cyclical stocks are coming back into favour slowly,” he told AAP.
Commonwealth Bank closed down 15 cents at $75.32, ANZ fell 16 cents to $30.87, Westpac dropped 7.0 cents to $31.53 and National Australia Bank reversed 10 cents to $33.64.
Global miner BHP Billiton was 11 cents richer at $38, Rio Tinto firmed 17 cents to $66.49.
Paladin lost some ground from early gains to close half a cent up at 56.5 cents after sold a 25 per cent stake in its Langer Heinrich mine in Namibia to China Uranium Corporation for $US190 million ($A217.18 million).