Australian shares reversed early losses to finish up slightly higher, helped by a recovery in the miners and regional markets treading higher.
But underlying concerns of a military strike on Syria kept a lid on gains.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index inched up 5.2 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 5092.4, while the broader All Ordinaries index gained 5.1 points, or 0.1 per cent, at 5083.1.
‘‘A little bit of a comeback coming through,’’ said CommSec market analyst Steven Daghlian.
Australia’s major miners helped lift activity on the back of higher oil prices, with BHP Billiton gaining 55 cents at $35.35, and Rio Tinto up nine cents at $58.25.
Iron ore miner Fortescue was nine cents higher at $4.31.
Energy and mining were two of the hardest hit sectors a day earlier, but had turned things around and heartened investors, Mr Daghlian said.
‘‘They’ve come back and certainly lifted things. That’s contributing to the improvements.’’
However, there were mixed performances among the big four banks. ANZ was 17 cents lower at $29.47, Commonwealth Bank shed 20 cents at $72.05, while National Australia Bank gained four cents at $32.36, and Westpac was up 11 cents at $40.08.
Meanwhile, shopping centre giant Westfield was eight cents lower at $11.05 after a weaker Australian dollar hit its profit.
After Qantas announced it had returned to profit, its shares were 17 cents, or 13.82 per cent, higher at $1.40.
‘‘I can’t remember the last time Qantas made up that sort of margin,’’ Mr Daghlian said.
But despite some positive news for the market - including better-than-expected capital expenditure data - the looming conflict in Syria remains a concern.
‘‘It’s at the forefront of the minds of investors,’’ Mr Daghlian said.
‘‘Despite Syria being quite a small player in the grand scheme of things when it comes to oil production, there are concerns that any sort of conflict there could potentially spread to neighbouring nations, such as Iraq.’’
BusinessDay with wires