Aust stocks open weaker

Local market begins week almost half a per cent lower on soft US leads.

The Australian sharemarket opened almost half a per cent lower following Wall Street's fall on profit taking and caution over the Ukraine crisis.

At the 10.15am (AEDT) official market open, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was 24.2 points, or 0.45%, lower at 5,313.9, while the broader All Ordinaries index lost 23 points, or 0.43%, at 5,331.

Locally, no major economic or equities news equities news is expected on Monday.

In Australia, the market on Friday rose on the back of encouraging US economic data.

The US Conference Board's index of leading indicators, rose 0.5% in February, the largest amount in three months. The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia said manufacturing had rebounded in that region in March as new orders increased. And, the number of people seeking US unemployment benefits rose 5,000 last week to a seasonally-adjusted 320,000, suggesting a stable job market.

Australia's benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 44.1 points, or 0.83%, at 5,338.1.

The broader All Ordinaries index rose 41.3 points, or 0.78%, at 5,354.

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