Aust stocks set to open lower

Local market set to fall in the wake of weakness on Wall Street at end of last week.

The Australian share market is expected to open slightly weaker due to dips in the US and European markets.

At 6.56am (AEST), the June share price index futures contract was down 23 points at 5,507.

CommSec chief economist Craig James says the overseas markets were down on Friday, due to investors taking profits out of technology stocks and simmering tensions in the Ukraine.

But the local market is handling the situation well.

"The futures market suggests that our market in Australia will be down 23 points or 0.4% at the start of trade," Mr James said.

"So a little bit weaker, but performing better than the US and European markets did on Friday."

Mr James said technology stocks took a beating, with Amazon shares alone losing almost 10%.

While conservatism crept into Wall Street, investors are carefully watching how political instability in the Ukraine plays out.

But despite this, the Australian dollar is holding firm around US92.75c.

The price of gold is also up $10.20 per ounce, Mr James said.

But the energy sector has been hit by a slump in oil and iron ore prices.

Oil prices have fallen $US1.34 to $US100.60 per barrel, while the spot iron ore price is down $US2.20.

Mr James says there's little to guide Australian trading this week, although figures on house prices, manufacturing and lending are due to be released.

No significant company news is expected today.

Last week the Australian market blasted through 5500 points and Mr James expects it will hold between the 5300 and 5600 mark.

The market on Thursday closed at near-six-year highs in a sixth consecutive day of gains.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index rose 13.2 points, or 0.24%, to 5,531.

The broader All Ordinaries index was up 13.3 points, or 0.24%, at 5,515.5.

As for the Australian dollar, that should remain between US92c and US94c, Mr James said.

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