ASX flat despite energy strength

Australian shares are trading flat as falls from the big banks offset strong gains in the energy sector.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 4.3 points, or 0.07 per cent, to 6,217.1 points at 1200 AEST on Tuesday, while the broader All Ordinaries was up 1.6 points, or 0.03 per cent, to 6,312.4.

All four of the big banks were in negative territory at midday, with ANZ down 0.79 per cent to $25.595, Commonwealth down 0.99 per cent to $69.97, NAB down 0.81 per cent to $24.50, and Westpac down 0.93 per cent to $25.64.

The energy sector led gains, up 1.83 per cent as a whole, after a surge in the price of oil overnight.

Santos, Woodside Petroleum, Oil Search, Origin Energy and and Beach Energy were up between 1.31 per cent and 3.71 per cent.

Shares in consumer staples and utilities recorded the biggest losses after the financial sector.

An ANZ-Roy Morgan sentiment survey released before the start of trade suggested consumer confidence fell last week despite tax cuts announced in the federal budget.

Mining giant BHP was up 0.19 per cent to $39.965, Rio Tinto was up 0.26 per cent to $101.74, and Fortescue Metals was up 2.50 per cent to $8.20.

Crown Resorts soared 21.81 per cent to $14.30 after its shares resumed trading on Tuesday as it confirmed it was in talks with Wynn Resorts about a $10 billion takeover proposal.

Appen was up 2.88 per cent to $23.21 after the AI company said its $15 million share purchase plan was approximately 3.4 times oversubscribed.

The Aussie dollar is buying 71.23 US cents, from 70.99 US cents on Monday.

By AAP

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