Aust stocks open weaker

Local bourse falls as global markets await repercussions from Crimea secession vote.

The Australian sharemarket opened weaker following falls on Wall Street and as tensions between the US, Europe and Russia heightened following an overwhelming vote in Crimea to break from Ukraine.

At the 10.15am (AEDT) official market open, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index dropped 17.3 points, or 0.32%, to 5,312.1 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index lost 17 points, or 0.32%, to 5,330.1 points.

Crimeans voted to break away from Ukraine and join Russia by a margin of 93% to 7%, according to exit polls reported by Russian news outlets.

In local economic news on Monday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) releases February's new motor vehicle sales figures.

No major equities news is expected.

In Australia, the market on Friday suffered it largest one day fall in almost six weeks due to disappointing Chinese economic figures and increasing tension over Ukraine's Crimea region.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index dropped 83.2 points, or 1.54%, to 5,329.4 points.

The broader All Ordinaries index lost 82 points, or 1.51%, to 5,347.1 points.

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