Aust stocks open weaker

Local market begins shortened trading week in the red as IT stocks weigh.

The Australian sharemarket opened weaker after the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index again led Wall Street sharply lower at the end of last week.

At the 10.15am (AEST) official market open, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index lost 20.7 points, or 0.38%, to 5,407.9 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index was down 21.7 points, or 0.4%, at 5,401.8 points.

Local IT stocks bore the brunt of the Nasdaq's decline, with the tech index dropping 0.67% in early trade.

The utilities and materials indices also weighed on the market, losing 0.39% and 0.35% respectively in early trade.

Tokyo stocks were also weighed by losses on Wall Street last week, opening 0.52% lower, as escalating tensions in Ukraine added to market concern.

The plunge in high-flying tech and biotechnology shares in the US was affecting investor sentiment across the globe, Australian Stock Report senior equity analyst Benny Sada said.

"Many investors are concerned the valuations in the US tech space has become too stretched and they're looking for an excuse to sell out," he said.

"This negative sentiment has hurt other markets around the globe and we have opened lower on the back of those concerns."

He said investors were also focusing on the US second earnings season, which began last week with JP Morgan missing profit estimates by almost four per cent.

"That has magnified concerns that a lot of US companies may have underwhelming earnings reports," he said.

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

In Australia, the sharemarket on Friday closed sharply lower after a fall in technology stocks on United States markets caused a wider sell-off on Wall Street.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index lost 52.2 points, or 0.95%, to 5,428.6 points.

The broader All Ordinaries index was down 54 points, or 0.99%, at 5,423.5 points.

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