Aust stocks fall at open

Local market follows Wall St lower as Syrian crisis escalates.

The Australian stock market fell 0.5% at the open, after an escalation in the Syrian crisis spooked markets overnights, sending Wall St lower.

At the 1015 AEST official market open, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index fell 0.48% to 5,110.5 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index lost 0.48% to 5,102.5 points.

IG market analyst Chris Weston said low trading volumes in the northern hemisphere made "trade action like what was seen last night in the US looks stronger than it actually is".

"The current value trading through US and European markets is mild at best, and this is leading to fairly large ‘mood signs’. With the FTSE shut for summer bank holiday, volumes in Europe last night were lighter still and both sides of the Atlantic finished in the red," he said.

"The fear in the market today is the escalation of the Syrian crisis, with Secretary of State John Kerry stating that the President will hold Syria’s government to account for the use of chemical weapons."

Materials took a hit, with the major miners leading the market lower.

BHP Billiton fell 0.56% to $35.38, while Rio Tinto lost 0.6% to $59.45.

Fortescue Metals dropped 0.68% to $4.38.

Whitehaven Coal was flat at $2.02 and Newcrest rose 2.26% to $14.01.

In the energy sector, Santos retreated 1.29% to $14.54, Oil Search lost 1.25% to $8.275 and Woodside fell 0.74% to $37.50.

Financials fell, with the big four banks in the red.

Commonwealth Bank rose 0.19% to $72.72, while ANZ Banking Group shed 0.34% to $29.72.

National Australia Bank lost 0.83% to $32.28, while Westpac Banking Corporation shed 0.58% to $31.495.

In the insurance sector, QBE fell 2.19% to $15.61, Insurance Australia Group lost 0.26% to $5.765 and Suncorp fell 0.57% to $12.30.

The retail sector was also lower.

Wesfarmers lost 0.7% to $39.58, while Woolworths declined 0.63% to $33.36.

Myer retreated 0.73% to $2.72 while rival David Jones gave up 0.36% to $2.78.

Harvey Norman fell 1.71% to $2.88 and JB Hi-Fi edged 0.21% lower to $19.

Related Articles