Sentiment was less upbeat overnight, with a surprising fall in UK industrial production and concerns about the Euro zone weighing.
The US stockmarket had edged lower overnight, following a run of seven consecutive daily gains.
The Dow was little changed, while the S&P 500 slipped 0.2% and the Nasdaq fell 0.3%.
US government bonds gained ground (yields fell) as the lacklustre stockmarket performance enhanced the appeal of safe haven government bonds.
The Aussie dollar strengthened against the major currencies, with rising yields on Australian bonds encouraging investors.
The Yen weakened on a report the Bank of Japan may engage in further monetary stimulus sooner than expected, with the nominee Governor for the Bank of Japan, Kuroda hinting he may ease monetary policy as soon as he takes office next week, rather than waiting for the next scheduled meeting on April 3-4.
The Yen fell to a four-and-a-half year low versus the Aussie.
Sterling weakened against the Aussie, hitting a 28-year low, on weak UK industrial production data and expectations of further monetary easing from the Bank of England.
Commodity prices strengthened, led by copper with signs of strength in Chinese auto sales providing support.
Business confidence fell from a reading of 3 in January to a reading of just 1 in February according to the latest NAB business survey.
There were marginally more optimists than pessimists among the businesses surveyed.
Confidence is below its long run average but remains above the level reported in December 2012.
Business conditions also deteriorated, falling to a reading of -3 in February, from -2 in January.
The head of Germany's central bank, Weidmann said the Euro zone's "crisis is not over despite the recent calm on financial markets."
Industrial production fell 1.2% in January, held down by disruption to oil supply at a North sea rig.
Even excluding oil and utilities, however, factory output fell 1.5% in January.
For the year to January, total industrial production is down 2.9%.
NFIB small business optimism was stronger than expected, rising to a reading of 90.8 in February, from 88.9 in January.
It was the third consecutive monthly increase in the index, although it remains below its level in October last year.
Please read the disclaimer below:
The information contained in this report (the Information) is provided for, and is only to be used by, persons in Australia. The information may not comply with the laws of another jurisdiction. The Information is general in nature and does not take into account the particular investment objectives or financial situation of any potential reader. It does not constitute, and should not be relied on as, financial or investment advice or recommendations (expressed or implied) and is not an invitation to take up securities or other financial products or services. No decision should be made on the basis of the Information without first seeking expert financial advice. For persons with whom St.George has a contract to supply Information, the supply of the Information is made under that contract and St.George's agreed terms of supply apply. St.George does not represent or guarantee that the Information is accurate or free from errors or omissions and St.George disclaims any duty of care in relation to the Information and liability for any reliance on investment decisions made using the Information. The Information is subject to change. Terms, conditions and any fees apply to St. George products and details are available. St.George or its officers, agents or employees (including persons involved in preparation of the Information) may have financial interests in the markets discussed in the Information. St.George owns copyright in the Information unless otherwise indicated. The Information should not be reproduced, distributed, linked or transmitted without the written consent of St.George.
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.