Aust stocks fall at noon

Local market dips after weak Wall St leads as Fed warns stimulus must end.

The Australian stock market fell at noon, following weak Wall Street leads as a Federal Reserve official warned the bank's stimulus measures couldn't continue forever.

At 1205 AEDT, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index fell 0.48% to 5,367.3 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index declined 0.45% to 5,362.8 points.

Financials were mostly lower.

ANZ fell 0.61% to $31.915 and Commonwealth Bank fell 0.78% to $77.48.

National Australia Bank slipped 1.36% to $34.03, and Westpac dropped 0.59% to $32.655.

Investment bank Macquarie Group lost 1.09% to $53.33.

In insurance, IAG fell 0.9% to $6.035, Suncorp lost 0.42% to $13.175, and QBE lifted 0.39% to $15.39.

Materials were mixed.

BHP Billiton retreated 0.29% at $37.92, while rival Rio Tinto inched 0.11% higher to $64.77.

Fortescue Metals rose 1.34% to $5.685, while Newcrest decreased 2.39% to $9.605.

Whitehaven Coal retreated 1.27% to $1.55.

In energy, Oil Search slipped 0.59% to $8.39, while Santos was flat at $14.85 and Woodside Petroleum slipped 0.23% to $39.14.

The retail sector was mixed.

Wesfarmers inched up 0.05% to $44.19, while rival Woolworths fell 0.75% to $34.18.

Myer rose 2.6% to $2.76 and rival David Jones rose 0.17% to $2.995.

Harvey Norman added 1.09% to $3.235, while JB Hi-Fi shed 1.58% to $21.74.

Fairfax Media fell 0.43% to 58.25 cents, 21st Century Fox fell 0.7% to $35.35 and News Corp added 2.17% to $18.80.

Ten Network rose 0.98% to 25.75 cents, while Seven West was flat at $2.30 and Southern Cross Media fell 1.19% to $1.66.

Blue chip Qantas rose 0.41% to $1.23, while Telstra lost 0.19% to $5.13.

In economic news, the Australian Bureau of Statistics released September wage price index and October new motor vehicle sales data.

The Westpac/Melbourne Institute Survey of Consumer Sentiment was also released.

In Australia, the market yesterday edged higher as gains by mining and chemical companies offset more falls by the major banks.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index gained six points, or 0.11%, to 5,393.1.

The broader All Ordinaries index added six points, or 0.11%, to 5,386.8.

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