The Aussie market is slightly underwater so far today with the local bulls holding up reasonably well in light of some soft leads from international markets last night.
The sectors are fairly evenly balanced between winners and losers, with healthcare, telco and IT issues the strongest performers whilst materials, industrials and energy plays the hardest hit.
In economic news, Australia posted a surprise trade deficit of $480 million in February, further fuelling expectations of a rate cut in May.
The market had been expecting a $1.1 billion trade surplus.
In company news, Transfield shares have plummeted as much as 15% after announcing that it expects net profit for FY12 to be $105 million, down from previous guidance of between $130 million to $135 million.
Elsewhere, QBE is up 4% after revealing its gross written premiums are expected to rise by more than 7% in 2012 to $4.6 billion.
Around the region, Asian markets are mixed; the Shanghai Composite is up 0.5% whilst the Nikkei is 1.4% weaker.