Australian shares are flat as a lower iron ore price and Chinese growth figures keep a lid on market gains.
Investors have taken their cues from Chinese gross domestic product (GDP) data and ore prices, with US markets closed for the Martin Luther King Jr public holiday.
IG market analyst Evan Lucas said the banking sector was mixed, but weaker iron ore prices had kept a lid on gains.
"All the major iron ore players are under a lot of pressure, particularly the pure plays," Mr Lucas said.
"That's what's driving it."
Iron ore prices fell two per cent overnight and in Australian dollar terms the steel making ingredient has fallen eight per cent since the beginning of the year.
Meanwhile, the China GDP figures showed that growth in Australia's biggest trading partner slowed to 1.8 per cent in the December quarter, from 2.2 per cent.
It grew 7.7 per cent in 2013, the same as 2012, when it recorded its slowest expansion in 13 years.
Volumes remained thin in the absence of major news on Tuesday.
Locally, the mining giants, which sell commodities to China, were weaker with diversified global player BHP Billiton 22 cents poorer at $37.77, Rio Tinto shedding 81 cents to $65.68 and iron ore miner Fortescue losing 20 cents, or 3.5 per cent, to $5.47.
The big banks, which had a reasonable start after last week's weakness, were mixed, with Commonwealth Bank gaining 38 cents to $75.70, ANZ adding 6.5 cents to $30.93, and National Australia Bank lifting 12.5 cents to $33.76. But Westpac dropped two cents to $31.51.
- At 1200 AEDT on Tuesday, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 1.3 points, or 0.02 per cent, at 5,296.3 points.
- The broader All Ordinaries index was down one point, or 0.02 per cent, at 5,308.6 points.
- The March share price index futures contract was flat at 5255 points, with 4,650 contracts traded.
- National turnover was 565 million securities worth $918 million.