Four out of twelve sectors finished in the red. Telcos were the worst, with Telstra dropping 2% after its first half profit missed analyst expectations.
The big four banks were stronger on the day; Westpac put on 0.9% and NAB 0.3%.
The mining majors were weaker, hurt by the lower likelihood of easier monetary policy in China.
BHP lost 1.6%, while rival Rio Tinto let go of 0.2% ahead of its half year results, which were released after the bell.
The iron ore giant reported an 11% rise in 1H12 underlying profit to $15.5 billion. The headline result was down 59% on-year due to an impairment charge.
Sims plummeted 7% after it announced a $614 million writedown relating to goodwill surrounding acquisitions and joint ventures conducted by its North American arm.
The ASX 200 shed eight points (-0.2%), to settle at 4283.