Australian Stocks Close Flat Despite Early Gains

It was a quiet day on the Australian market with most traders still away from their desks after the Christmas and Boxing Day public holidays.

The ASX 200 was trading at about 5350 points this morning, up more than 2% from the 24 December close thanks to strong unemployment figures from the US.

But it fell steadily throughout the day to close down 3.1 points at 5324.1.

Only $1.65 billion worth of shares changed hands, down from an average of about $4 billion, CommSec markets analyst Tom Piotrowski noted this afternoon.

Via, here’s what happened:

Major retailers Myer and David Jones gained 0.37% and 0.67% respectively after reports of strong Christmas and Boxing Day sales.

Engineering services firm Forge Group was the biggest winner with stocks up 15.2%, followed by gold producers Medusa Mining and Resolute Mining, both up 6.6%.

Sky Network was the worst performer of the day, with shares down 4.25% to $5.41.

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