Aust stocks open 1.1% lower

Local market opens sharply lower following heavy offshore losses in the US and Europe.

The Australian market opened significantly lower following strong falls on US and European markets on the back of weak eurozone data, the Argentine debt default and disappointing US corporate earnings.

At the 10.15am (AEST) official market open, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index tumbled 62.1 points, or 1.1%, to 5,570.8 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index fell 62.4 points, or 1.11%, to 5,560.7 points.

"The severity of selling in world stock markets last night leaves investors wondering if this is the beginning of something major as markets begin to adjust for a world in which central banks begin to lift interest rates," CMC Markets chief market analyst Ric Spooner said.

"Australian investors will be aware that last night’s sell off now makes tonight’s US non-farm payroll number a particularly stakes number for stock markets.

"It has the capacity to either confirm or overturn the emerging market consensus that the Fed is getting closer to lifting interest rates.

"Today will not be all about the US though; investors will also be watching China’s manufacturing PMI and the iron ore price. A steady outcome in these key indicators may mean that support for mining stocks will see the overall index fall less in Australia than it has in some other markets."

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