Aust stocks open weaker

Local market begins lower as taper fears weigh on Wall Street.

The Australian stock market opened lower  following falls on Wall Street amid concerns that the US Federal Reserve will scale back its bond-buying program more quickly than previously thought.

At the official 1015 AEDT market open, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index lost 0.39% to 5,235.7 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index fell 0.36% to 5,230.9.

Materials were mixed, with the major miners in the black.

BHP Billiton added 0.36% at $36.58, while rival Rio Tinto lifted 0.58% to $65.87.

Fortescue Metals fell 1.01% to $5.525, while Newcrest slumped 2.34% to $7.08.

Whitehaven Coal fell 0.72% to $1.7125 and Santos lost 0.98% to $14.16.

Oil Search fell 0.24% to $8.28, while Woodside Petroleum added 0.03% to $37.03.

Financials were mostly lower.

ANZ fell 0.85% to $31.44 and Commonwealth Bank shed 0.78% to $75.95.

National Australia Bank fell 0.32% to $34.08 and Westpac lost 0.74% to $32.06.

Investment bank Macquarie Group lost 0.71% to $53.23.

In insurance, IAG retreated 0.33% to $5.97, Suncorp lifted 0.12% to $13.015 and QBE shed 0.64% to $15.63.

The retail sector was also weaker.

Wesfarmers fell 0.93% to $42.185, while rival Woolworths shed 0.75% to $33.20.

Myer lost 1.26% to $2.73 and rival David Jones fell 0.52% to $2.875.

Harvey Norman fell 1.27% to $3.11, while JB Hi-Fi lost 1.37% to $19.41.

In media, Fairfax Media retreated 2.03% to 60.25 cents, 21st Century Fox lost 0.75% to $35.91 and News Corp fell 0.93% to $19.13.

Ten Network fell 0.91% to 27.25 cents, while Seven West retreated 1.38% to $2.15 and Southern Cross Media lost 0.32% to $1.55.

Blue chip Qantas fell 1.63% to $1.205, while Telstra lost 0.2% to $5.02.

In economic news on Wednesday, The Australian Bureau of Statistics releases September quarter national accounts figures, including gross domestic product.

The Australian Industry Group/Commonwealth Bank Australian Performance of Services Index (PSI) for November is due out.

News Corp chief executive Julian Clarke is to address a Melbourne Press Club lunch, while Boral chief executive Mike Kane is slated to speak at an American Chamber of Commerce in Australia event in Sydney.

In equities news, Dick Smith Holdings is due to list on the ASX, while TPG Telecom has its annual general meeting scheduled.

In Australia, the market on Tuesday closed lower for the third straight day, led down by the major miners and banks.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 23.4 points, or 0.44%, at 5,256.1 points.

The broader All Ordinaries index was down 23.9 points, or 0.45%, at 5,249.6.

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