Aussie shares ended the day in front, despite a mixed night on overseas markets and more evidence of a slowdown in China’s economy.
China’s manufacturing activity fell to a four-month low in March, with the PMI reading dipping to 48.1 from 49.6 February. Any reading below 50 indicates a contraction.
Most sectors finished in positive territory, with the two major exceptions being industrials and IT. Financials and telcos were the best performers.
The banking majors all outperformed the general market; Westpac was the best of the big four, up 1.1%.
Rio Tinto lost 1% for the day, whilst rival BHP gained 0.3% in spite of the weak PMI reading out of China.
Sigma Pharmaceuticals jumped 5.7% after posting a FY12 net profit of $49.2 million, a massive turnaround from the $235.4 million loss in the prior corresponding year
The ASX 200 put on 19 points (+0.5%) to settle at 4274.