The Australian sharemarket finished a low volume, narrow trading range session in the black as global growth uncertainty and simmering geopolitical risks kept investors on the sidelines.

Following the rebound in US stocks on Friday from the downing of the Malaysian airliner over Ukraine, the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 8.2 points, or 0.15 per cent, up at 5539.9 points.

Miners dragged the market down from its early highs after a steep drop in iron ore futures.

The Australian dollar was steady at US93.95� and government 10-year yields rose just 0.6 points to 3.384 per cent as demand for safe haven assets remained firm.

"Russia's response to the intensification of pressures on it, to both force pro-Russian rebels to allow unfettered access to the crash site and to cooperate with investigation efforts, looks like being key to whether or not Friday's apparent nonchalance towards the ramifications and recriminations from the tragedy will be maintained," National Australia Bank global head of currency strategy Ray Attrill said.

Global benchmark US 10-year yields rose 3 points to 2.48 per cent as equity markets rebounded, but the drop in the University of Michigan consumer confidence index and further credit market jitters in Portugal limiting the rebound.

On Friday the parent company of Portugal's Banco Espirito Santo filed for bankruptcy protection but soothing words from Bank of Portugal governor Carlos Costa soothed investors.

The Shanghai composite index was off 0.2 per cent at the close of the ASX as jitters mounted ahead of the earnings season.

Japanese markets were closed for a public holiday.

Gold was slightly firmer at $US1312 an ounce but copper extending Friday's losses to 1.2 per cent at $US6980 a tonne.

Dalian iron ore futures fell 1.5 per cent following the 0.3 per cent drop in the spot price to US96.70 a tonne on Friday.

Lonsec senior client adviser Michael Heffernan said the loss of almost 300 lives on the downed aircraft was tragic, but, as far as the market was concerned, events such as this tended to have a short-term effect.

“The more important thing as far as the market is concerned is what’s going on with reporting season (company earnings reports in the United States), inflation, growth and interest rates,” Mr Heffernan said.

He said most of the earnings reports from US companies had been positive, and, overall, had been better than expected. “We’ve had the rub-off effects here,” he said.

Mr Heffernan said the local bourse was consolidating above the 5,500-point mark now, ahead of the start of the Australian company reporting season in two weeks.

In the resources sector, lower iron ore prices weighed on the big miners.

Global miner BHP Billiton fell 17 cents to $38.22, Rio Tinto reversed 59 cents to $63.70, and Fortescue Metals eased two cents to $4.57.

Steel and mining group Arrium backtracked 2.5 cents to 75.5 cents after it accepted discounted prices on its iron ore shipments due to additional supply and tightening credit growth in China.

Boart Longyear jumped 1.8 cents to 10.5 cents despite ratings agency Standard & Poor’s downgrading the mining company’s credit rating, citing ongoing poor performance.

Caltex Australia strengthened 94 cents to $24.00 after reporting improved refinery sales for the year to June.

The big banks were mixed. Commonwealth Bank rose 9 cents to $81.36, Westpac was steady at $33.90, ANZ sagged 3 cents at $33.39, and National Australia Bank lifted 7 cents to $34.25.

Fairfax Media had gained 1.5 cents to 92.5 cents, following media reports that billionaire Gina Rinehart is considering launching a takeover bid for the company.

The broader All Ordinaries index was up 9.5 points, or 0.17 per cent, at 5,528.7 points.

The September share price index futures contract was 15 points higher at 5,500 points, with 15,673 contracts traded.

National turnover was 1.6 billion securities worth $2.65 billion.

The West Australian

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