Aust stocks slip at noon

Local market falls slightly after yesterday's high as investors await taper hints.

The Australian stock market has slipped at noon after yesterday's fresh five-year high as investors wait for news from the United States Federal Reserve these week about when it will start tapering its quantitative easing program.

At 1205 AEDT, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was 0.37% lower at 5,421.3 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index was also 0.37% weaker at 5,417.4 points.

Financials were mixed, despite a surge from ANZ after the lender unveiled a strong lift in full-year cash profit.

In economic news, Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Glenn Stevens told Citi's 5th Annual Australian & New Zealand Investment Conference in Sydney some rise in house prices is part of the normal cyclical dynamic, downplaying fears of a property bubble.

In equities news, Beach Energy, Drillsearch and PanAust are slated to release quarterly reports,

UGL Group, Stockland, NIB Holdings, Domino's Pizza and Dexus Property all have annual general meetings.

Meanwhile, Wesfarmers CEO Richard Goyder is scheduled to speak at an AMCHAM event in Sydney.

In Australia, the market yesterday closed at a five-year high as the major banks lifted ahead of the release of NAB and ANZ results.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was 55.1 points, or 1.02%, higher at 5,441.4.

The broader All Ordinaries index was up 51.6 points, or 0.96%, at 5,437.3.

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