Aust stocks set to open lower

Local market expected to follow Wall St leads lower after Fed minutes.

The Australian stock market looks set to open lower following falls on Wall Street after minutes from the Federal Reserve's last meeting gave no more clarity on the central bank's plans for its stimulus program.

At 0645 AEST, the September share price index futures contract was down 39 points at 5,040.

No major economic news is expected on Thursday.

In equities news, Insurance Australia Group (IAG), Seven West Media (SWM), Echo Entertainment (EGP), Pacific Brands (PBG), Origin Energy (ORG), Fortescue Metals Group (FMG), Fairfax Media (FXJ), Specialty Fashion Group (SFH), Village Roadshow (VRL) and Brambles Industries (BXB) are among the companies expected to post full-year results.

Sydney Airport (SYD) and Alumina (AWC) are slated to announce first-half results.

In Australia, the market on Wednesday closed higher as strong gains among the major banks offset falls by several major resources companies.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 21.8 points, or 0.43 per cent, at 5,100.

The broader All Ordinaries index was up 21.5 points, or 0.42 per cent, at 5,090.3.

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