Aust stocks open lower

Local market follows global bourses lower with little data to drive direction.

The Australian stock market opened lower following falls on international markets despite better-than-expected Chinese manufacturing data.

At the 1015 AEST official market open, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was 0.32% weaker at 5,235.8 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index fell 0.3% to 5229.9 points.

IG market analyst Evan Lucas said the US Federal Reserve's future plans for quantitative easing would have ramifications for local markets.

"If the Fed does continue to hold the line on the $85 billion monthly purchases the Australian dollar and the local market will find support for the wrong reasons; earnings are not supporting current levels and with China adding more support to the ‘stability’ call with a solid HSBC print yesterday, the Australian dollar has a real possibility of overheating," he said.

No major economic news is expected on Tuesday.

Materials were mostly lower, with the major miners both in the red.

BHP Billiton fell 0.6% to $35.885, while Rio Tinto was 0.72% lower at $62.12.

Fortescue Metals declined 0.22% to $4.58, after it announced it was taking over the management and supervision of two facilities at Christmas Creek.

Whitehaven Coal was 0.25% higher at $2.025 while Newcrest lifted 0.33% to $12.07.

In the energy sector, Santos added 0.81% to $15.00, Oil Search fell 0.59% to $8.47 and Woodside declined 0.39% to $38.57.

Financials were weaker, with the big four banks all in the red.

Commonwealth Bank retreated 0.54% to $73.51, while ANZ Banking Group fell 0.55% to $31.02.

National Australia Bank inched down 0.09% to $34.83 and Westpac Banking Corporation slipped 0.2% to $32.735.

Investment bank Macquarie Group fell 0.83% to $48.71.

In the insurance sector, QBE retreated 0.41% to $14.72, Insurance Australia Group inched up 0.17% to $5.86 and Suncorp dropped 0.23% to $13.02.

The retail sector was mostly lower.

Wesfarmers fell 0.15% to $41.25, while Woolworths lost 0.14% to $34.57.

Myer fell 3.44% to $2.665 and rival David Jones was flat at $2.89.

Harvey Norman lost 0.3% to $3.28 while JB Hi-Fi rallied 0.49% to $20.48.

Kathmandu lifted 5.49% to $2.69 after revealing a strong uptick in full-year profit.

In media, Fairfax Media fell 0.92% to 54 cents, 21st Century Fox retreated 0.89% to $34.71 and News Corp added 0.96% to $17.90.

Ten Network fell 0.85% to 29.25 cents and Southern Cross Media dropped 0.28% to $1.78, while Seven West fell 0.8% to $2.49.

Blue chip Qantas retreated 0.33% to $1.50, while Telstra lost 0.2% to $4.94.

In Australia, the market on Monday finished lower, but stemmed some of their losses on the back of strong Chinese economic data.

Banking giant HSBC said its preliminary purchasing managers' index for the manufacturing sector in China hit 51.2 in September, the highest since March when the index stood at 51.6.

It's a further sign that a rebound in the world's second-largest economy is gaining momentum on improving demand.

In Australia, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was 24.2 points, or 0.46%, lower at 5,252.5.

The broader All Ordinaries index was down 25.0 points, or 0.47%, at 5,245.8.

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