Aust stocks open weaker

Local market extends last week's heavy losses on downbeat offshore leads.

The Australian sharemarket opened lower after international bourses extended their declines with investors still concerned over conflicts in the Middle East and Ukraine and Argentina's debt default.

At 10.20am (AEST), the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index tumbled 15.9 points, or 0.29%, to 5,540.5 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index fell 14.5 points, or 0.26%, to 5,533.1 points.

"The size of the fall in Friday’s local market may limit declines today as our market prepares for the reporting season to get underway in earnest," CMC Markets chief market analyst Ric Spooner said. 

"Ongoing Australian Dollar weakness would help support the local stock market.

"Today’s retail sales number will be closely watched by both currency and share traders. Markets will be hoping that shoppers have overcome some of their post budget blues now that the Senate seems intent on blocking most of the budget measures that had been worrying them."