Aust stocks fall at noon

Local market increases losses after mixed overseas leads on jitters over action against Syria.

The Australian stock market fell in late morning trade to sit slightly lower after mixed overseas leads amid nervousness over possible action against Syria.

At 1205 AEST official market open, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index lost 0.34% to 5,069.9 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index also fell 0.34% to 5,060.5 points.

In Australia, the market yesterday suffered its steepest one-day fall in three weeks as speculation about a United States military strike on Syria hit the big miners.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 54 points, or 1.05%, at 5,087.2 points.

The broader All Ordinaries index was down 52.8 points, or 1.03%, at 5,078.0 points.

Materials rallied after yesterday's losses, with the two iron ore miners supporting the market.

BHP Billiton rose 1.14% to $35.195, while Rio Tinto lifted 0.72% to $58.58.

Fortescue Metals rose 1.107% to $4.265.

Whitehaven Coal shed 0.13% to $1.945 and Newcrest fell 3.13% to $13.31.

In the energy sector, Santos rose 0.38% to $14.605, Oil Search lifted 1.46% to $8.35 and Woodside put on 0.62% to $38.195.

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