Despite a positive start on the back of gains on Wall Street and Europe overnight, the Australian share market is flat at lunchtime in the East.
European and US markets rose overnight, investors hopeful for a resolution to the Cyprus bail-out crisis.
A share trader gestures while discussing share prices with a colleague in front of the German share price index DAX board at the stock exchange in Frankfurt March 6, 2013.
Locally, there is a bit of weakness from some of the banks including the Commonwealth Bank (CBA) and Macquarie Group (MQG).
Mining stocks are performing well, with Rio Tinto (RIO) up 0.4% to $57.91.
Shares in surf-wear retailer Billabong (BBG) have been placed in a trading halt, after falling 14.2% this morning to 69.5c. The deadline for takeover bids for the company is next Thursday 29th March.
Meanwhile, still in the retail sector, Premier Investments Limited (PMV), the retailer behind brands such as Just Jeans and Portmans, has brushed off the retail gloom by lifting its first half profit by 21%. The group lifted its profit to $46.5 million, while revenue was up 2.6% to $460.3 million. PMV shares are up 2.3% in early trade to $7.88.
The Australian dollar is trading in a tight range as investors await the release of key Chinese manufacturing data, due at 12.45pm AEDT. The Aussie is buying US103.72c, €80.17c and £0.6866.
So far, a total of 1.4 billion shares have changed hands, worth $3.9 billion. 377 are up, 421 are down and 311 are unchanged.
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