The Australian sharemarket has opened flat as investors look for signs of a solution in Europe on the last trading day of the financial year.
At 1015 AEST on Friday, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 6.5 points, or 0.16 per cent, at 4,038.3, while the broader All Ordinaries index was down 6.7 points, or also 0.16 per cent, at 4,078.9.
On the ASX 24, the June share price index futures contract was down 17 points at 4,003, with 9,099 contracts traded.
US stocks slashed steep early losses in the last hour of trade to end moderately lower, amid short covering and hopes that EU leaders would agree on measures to stem the eurozone crisis.
European stock markets and the euro have slid, with traders there also waiting to see if EU leaders will deliver concrete steps to tackle the euro zone's spreading debt crisis.
IG Markets analyst Cameron Peacock said the Dow was down by about 170 points before rallying in the last hour of trade.
"News broke that German Chancellor Angela Merkel had cancelled a press conference of all things and the markets took that as some sign that they're working on a plan and it rallied," Mr Peacock said.
"It staggers me, but that's just the sort of market we're in at the moment.
"Locally, people are happy to delay their investment decisions. Why would you buy on the last (trading) day of the financial year?"
On the local bourse News Corp was down 33 cents, or 1.5 per cent, at $22.04 after the company confirmed it plans to split into two separate publicly traded companies. The company's non-voting scrip lifted 29 cents, or 1.3 per cent, to $21.84.
Fairfax Media was flat at 54 cents after Gina Rinehart's bid for seats on the company's board was rejected.
David Jones shares shot up 15 per cent to $2.60 after the department store chain received a takeover offer from a mystery entity in the United Kingdom.
In the resources sector, global miner BHP Billiton was two cents higher at $30.74, and Rio Tinto was down 30 cents cents to $54.86.
Among the major banks, National Australia Bank was flat at $23.34, ANZ was up 12 cents to $21.62, but Commonwealth Bank lost four cents to $52.58, and Westpac gave away two cents to $20.80.
Preliminary national turnover was 350,000 million securities worth $2.9 billion, with 234 stocks up, 271 down and 297 unchanged.
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