The ASX started September with a 0.07% rise to close at 5629. This came despite the Australian Bureau of Statistics revealing that corporate profitability declined 6.9% last quarter, the worst reading since 2009.
European shares advanced 0.3% after a swing into the black in the final minutes of trading. The sanctions situation with Russia is continuing to weigh on European investor sentiment.
The US markets were closed for the Labor Day public holiday.
Oil trading on the NYMEX was lighter than usual with WTI crude falling 18c to $95.78 a barrel.
Gold is headed for a quarterly loss after two strong quarters in the first half of the year. Hedge funds cut their holdings again last month, making for a 2.6% decline in the price since June.