The Australian stock market has opened sharply lower following hefty falls on international markets after US Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke said the central bank may start winding back its stimulus measure before the end of the year.
The S&P/ASX 200 Index has dropped by 1.42% to 4,690.60 points at 1020 AEST and the All Ordinaries Index has shed 1.43% to 4,676.20 points.
Together with yesterday's falls the market is now trading at its lowest point since January this year.
Yesterday the market suffered its worst loss in a day since February amid jitters over the US stimulus measures and weaker-than-expected Chinese manufacturing data, with the major ASX 200 and All Ordinaries index closed more than 2% down.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 103 points, or 2.12%, at 4,758.4 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index was down 97.9 points, or 2.02%, to 4,743.9 points.