The Australian market closed marginally lower after investors decided to reap their profits later in the day.
At the close on Tuesday, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 3.1 points, or 0.07 per cent at 4,716.6, while the broader All Ordinaries index lost 2.7 points, or 0.06 per cent, at 4,743.
On the ASX 24, the March share price index futures contract was three points lower at 4,692, with 20,823 contracts traded.
Paterson's Securities associate director Mark Goulopoulos said the Australian market closed slightly lower after a late session of profit taking.
"We've have generally a pretty positive start to the year so we had a bit of profit taking this afternoon," he said.
"We were down as much as 10 or 12 points mid afternoon until the Rio production report came out which was a solid one and the market liked it and we closed off just three points down."
Mining giant Rio Tinto announced that it had lifted global iron ore production by four per cent to a record 253 million tonnes in 2012.
The company still closed nine cents down at $65.90 but recovered from an intraday low of $65.33.
BHP Billiton closed four cents lower at $36.53 and Fortescue lost nine cents to $4.64.
Beleaguered retailer Billabong's shares surged 15.98 per cent to 98 cents after it announced it had a second takeover offer, this time from from VF Corporation, owner of The North Face and Timberland brands, and US private equity firm Altamont Capital Partners.
The four major banks had a mixed day of trading.
ANZ finished six cents up at $25.27 and Commonwealth Bank jumped 12 cents to $61.75.
However, Westpac tumbled 14 cents to $26.36 and National Australia Bank lost three cents to $25.71.
The spot price of Sydney gold closed at $US1,671.63 up $US4.83 from Monday's close of $US1,666.80.
National turnover was 1.506 billion shares worth $3.975 billion, with 464 stocks up, 505 down and 345 unchanged.
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