Aust stocks drop at noon

Local market widens morning losses following weak Wall Street leads, yesterday's lower close on poor US jobs data.

The Australian stock market has widened morning losses at noon, sitting 0.9% lower following weak Wall Street leads after both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 closed more than one% lower.

At 1205 AEDT, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index lost 0.88% to 5,245.6 points, while the broader All Ordinaries was 0.83% lower at 5,252.6 points.

Materials were mostly lower.

BHP Billiton declined 0.82% to $36.26, while rival Rio Tinto fell 0.05% to $63.48.

Fortescue Metals rose 0.1% to $5.145, while Newcrest added 0.23% to $8.89.

Whitehaven Coal decreased 0.28% to $1.765, while Santos declined 1.26% to $14.08.

Oil Search retreated 0.61% to $8.17 and Woodside Petroleum shed 0.56% to $37.36.

Financials were mostly weaker.

ANZ slipped 0.73% to $31.10, while Commonwealth Bank fell one% to $76.23.

National Australia Bank lost 1.08% to $33.87, while Westpac declined 0.75% to $31.77.

Investment bank Macquarie Group declined 1.95% to $52.93.

In insurance, IAG gave up 1.73% to $5.69, while Suncorp fell 1.44% to $12.96.

QBE slipped 0.63% to $11.815.

The retail sector also fell.

Woolworths retreated 0.73% to $33.96, while Wesfarmers declined 0.84% to $43.255.

Myer gave up 1.09% to $2.71, while rival David Jones fell 1.62% to $3.03.

Harvey Norman retreated 2.42% to $3.23, while JB Hi-Fi lost 2.58% to $21.53.

In media, Fairfax Media lost 0.77% to 64.5 cents and News Corp retreated 1.25% to $18.95.

21st Century Fox fell 3.15% to $35.00.

Ten Network gave up 3.08% to 31.5 cents, while Seven West lost 1.12% to $2.205 and Southern Cross Media shed 1.21% to $1.63.

Telstra fell 0.48% to $5.225, while Qantas slipped 1.34% to $1.105.

Forge Group lowered 3.2% to $1.21, after plummeting out of a trading halt to 86 cents earlier on the announcement of an additional profit writedown.

United States stocks tumbled in the overnight session as Wall Street awaits a raft of financial reports as earnings season gets into full swing this week.

No major equities news is expected.

In Australia, the market yesterday closed lower following the release of disappointing US jobs figures.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 20.3 points, or 0.38%, lower at 5,292.1

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