Aust stocks edge lower at open

Market slightly weaker in early trade after late rally saw Wall St close higher.

The Australian stock market pushed slightly lower at the open after a rally in late trading saw Wall Street close higher ahead of new Federal Reserve head Janet Yellen's first testimony to Congress.

At the 1015 AEDT official market open, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index edged down 0.25% to 5,209.3 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index fell 0.22% to 5,225.2 points.

Financials were mixed, with the big four going all directions.

ANZ was flat at $29.91, after unveiling a strong lift in first-quarter cash profit.

Commonwealth Bank added 0.03% to $74.87.

National Australia Bank gave up 0.3% to $33.31, while Westpac retreated 0.5% to $31.61.

Investment bank Macquarie Group lost 2.91% to $54.00, after tipping a lift in full-year profit.

In insurance, IAG was flat at $5.37, Suncorp lost 0.66% to $12.00 and QBE added 0.64% to $11.07.

Materials mostly fell.

BHP Billiton retreated 0.11% to $36.46 while rival Rio Tinto slipped 0.81% to $66.48.

Fortescue Metals fell 0.72% to $5.55, while Newcrest Mining lifted 1.98% to $11.33.

Whitehaven Coal shed 0.29% to $1.72, while Santos retreated 0.87% to $13.74.

Oil Search retreated 0.54% to $8.325, while Woodside Petroleum gave up 0.13% to $37.68.

The retail sector was mostly weaker.

Woolworths fell 0.52% to $34.71, while Wesfarmers retreated 0.4% to $42.36.

Myer lost 1.53% to $2.57, while rival David Jones fell 0.32% to $3.10.

Harvey Norman was flat at $3.08, while JB Hi-Fi lost 0.6% to $18.34.

In media, Fairfax Media was flat at 67.5 cents and News Corp lifted 0.26% to $19.20.

21st Century Fox shed 0.71% to $34.99.

Ten Network decreased 1.47% to 33.5 cents, while Seven West shed 0.47% to $2.10 and Southern Cross Media fell 0.64% to $1.545.

Telstra rose 0.1% to $5.045, while Qantas gave up 0.23% to $1.0875.

Bradken fell 8.83% to $4.75, after the group said it expects earnings slightly below analyst estimates for the full year.

Cochlear lost 8.8% on news its first-half profit had fallen by 73%.

In economic news on Tuesday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) releases December housing finance data and the residential property price indexes for the December quarter.

The National Australia Bank's monthly business survey for January is also due out.

In Australia, the market on Monday closed higher in the wake of a positive lead from US markets, but with investor focus set to shift more towards the domestic company reporting season.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 55.6 points, or 1.08%, at 5,222.1 points.

The broader All Ordinaries index was up 52 points, or 1.0%, at 5,236.5 points.