Incremental gains and losses have been the hallmark of morning trade on the Australian share market as the COVID-19 pandemic limits direction for investors.
The S&P/ASX200 benchmark index was lower by 1.5 points, or 0.03 percent, at 5319.9 points at 1200 AEST on April 28.
The All Ordinaries index was 1.4 points lower, or 0.03 percent, at 5386.9 points.
Materials, energy and healthcare stocks were down on average but the financial sector and information technology were higher.
The big three miners’ fortunes were reflective of the seemingly undecided nature of investors in the wider market.
Fortescue was higher by 5.0 cents, or 0.44 percent, to $11.51, while Rio lost $1.21, or 1.39 percent, to $85.79.
BHP had no change to its price of $30.50.
Westpac on Tuesday announced a $2.2 billion impairment charge, mostly from the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, ahead of its half-year results that are due next week.
However, the news did not disturb investors. Westpac shares were trading higher by 32 cents, or 2.18 percent, at $14.98.
Shares in National Australia Bank continued to sag after its poor half-year results on Monday, which were also largely due to the virus.
NAB shares were down 36 cents, or 2.28 percent, to $15.40, Bendigo Bank had a 12-cent gain, or 2.11 percent, to $5.80 and Bank of Queensland was up 2.5 cents, or 0.54 percent, to $4.67.
Consumer discretionaries was the best-performing sector, up an average 1.45 per cent.
Wesfarmers shares were steady after it said good sales at its Bunnings and Officeworks stores had offset slow purchases at Kmart and Target.
Westfarmers’ price was higher by 29 cents, or 0.77 percent, to $37.91.
Poker machine manufacturer Aristocrat Leisure was up 68 cents, or 3.08 percent, to $22.74.
Aristocrat on Monday said it would stand down 1,000 staff throughout May and cut pay due to the virus.
The IT sector was also among the better performers, up by a collective 0.7 percent.
Afterpay shares were higher by 45 cents, or 1.62 percent, to $28.20.
Goldminers have not enjoyed morning trade. Northern Star slumped 42 cents, or 3.09 percent, to $13.16 and Newcrest Mining fell 92 cents, or 3.23 percent, to $27.56.
Shares in gas producer Beach Energy fell 5.5 cents, or 4.15 percent, to $1.27.
Bankrupt Diamond Offshore Drilling has sued Australian oil and Beach for abruptly terminating a $US65 million ($A101 million) drilling contract.
The Australian dollar has fallen during morning trade to 64.38 US cents at 1200 AEST, down from 64.60 US cents at Monday’s close.
By Steven Deare in Sydney