Aust stocks fall at noon

Local market follows mostly weaker Wall St leads as RBA jawbones dollar.

The Australian stock market has fallen at noon, following mostly weaker Wall Street leads, while the Reserve Bank of Australia repeated concerns over the high Australian dollar.

At 1205 AEDT, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index lost 0.51% to 5,357.3 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index was 0.47% lower at 5,352.6 points.

The RBA's November meeting minutes reiterated the central bank's concern that the local currency is "uncomfortably high".

Financials were mostly weaker.

ANZ fell 0.44% to $31.96 and Commonwealth Bank shed 0.34% to $77.08.

National Australia Bank inched up 0.07% to $34.385, and Westpac dropped 0.15% to $32.82.

Investment bank Macquarie Group lost 0.93% to $53.12.

In insurance, IAG fell 0.99% to $6.00, Suncorp lost 0.08% to $13.29, and QBE rose 0.32% to $15.68.

Materials were broadly lower.

BHP Billiton retreated 0.58% at $37.73, while rival Rio Tinto slipped 0.81% to $65.12.

Fortescue Metals lost 0.34% to $5.87, while Newcrest decreased 1.19% to $9.13.

Whitehaven Coal fell 0.17% to $1.5075.

In energy, Oil Search was flat at $8.46, while Santos shed 1.09% to $14.58 and Woodside Petroleum fell 0.21% to $38.37.

In equities news, Ruralco is expected to post full year results, while Seven Group, iiNet and Monadelphous have annual general meetings scheduled.

In Australia, the market yesterday closed in negative territory, despite positive offshore leads, kept down by falls in financial stocks.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 17 points, or 0.31%, at 5,384.7.

The broader All Ordinaries index was down 18.3 points, or 0.34%, at 5,377.9.

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