ASX slightly lower on weak Chinese data
ASX slightly lower on weak Chinese data

The Australian sharemarket was flat mid-session after worse than expected Chinese import figures weighed on local miners.

At 10.15am, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 2.6 points, or 0.06 per cent, at 4115.7, while the broader All Ordinaries index was down 2.4 points, or 0.06 per cent, at 4157.4.

On the ASX 24, the September share price index futures contract was down nine points at 4,081, with 10,662 contracts traded.

CMC Markets Chief Market Strategist Michael McCarthy said the weak Chinese imports figure was weighing on the local market.

"It was opposite of what the market was expecting," he said.

"Nonetheless the market is focusing on negatives at the moment and this weaker imports number is suggesting the handover to the consumer driven economy is not happening."

Investors remained cautious ahead of the resolution of European finance minister's meeting, he said.

Chinese imports rose 6.3 per cent, the General Administration of Customs said.

US stocks fell ahead of the opening of earnings season, with the slow economy and worries about European stability and Chinese growth pressing down on sentiment.

On the local bourse, the world's biggest resources company BHP Billiton was 15 cents down to $31.33 and Rio Tinto fell by 26 cents to $56.28.

Among the major banks, the National Australia Bank was 11 cents poorer at $23.56, ANZ gave away six cents to $22.44 and Commonwealth Bank surrendered 35 cents to $53.43.

Westpac was the only bank higher at noon increasing by four cents to $21.64.

Insurance Australia Group is stepping up its growth in Asia, where it aims to generate 10 per cent of its business within four years.

IAG shares were three cents higher at $3.56.

At 10.05am national turnover was 108 million shares worth $914 million, with 350 shares up, 298 down and 292 unchanged.

The West Australian

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