Aust stocks set to open lower

Local market expected to begin slightly lower on US taper speculation.

The Australian stock market looks set to open slightly lower following falls on international markets amid speculation the Federal Reserve may soon start curtailing its economic stimulus measures.

At 0645 AEDT, the December share price index futures contract was down nine points at 5,327.

No major economic news is expected on Thursday,

In equities news, GrainCorp and Singapore Telecommunications are expected to post full year results, James Hardie Industries first half results and Paladin Energy first quarter results.

BlueScope Steel, Mirvac Group, Macquarie Radio Network, Sims Metal Management, ResMed and New Hope Corporation have annual general meetings scheduled. The Bank of Queensland has a strategy update for investors.

In Australia, the market on Wednesday fell significantly as investors took profits and considered the possibility the Federal Reserve would soon start curtailing its economic stimulus program.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index dropped 73.9 points, or 1.37%, to 5,319.2 points.

The broader All Ordinaries index shed 69.3 points, or 1.29%, to 5,317.5 points.