Heavy selling in early trading

Australian stocks have encountered heavy selling in early trade.

The Australian stock market opened more than half-a-per cent lower following strong falls on Wall Street last week.

At the 1015 AEST official market open, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index shed 0.83 per cent at 4,762.7 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index was down 0.78 per cent at 4,738.2 points.

Resources stocks were mostly lower, with the major miners going either way.

Rio Tinto edged down 0.06 per cent to $52.34, while BHP Billiton increased 0.22 per cent to $31.44.

Fortescue Metals lost 0.66 per cent to $3.02.

Whitehaven Coal lost 1.74 per cent to $2.26, while Newcrest added 3.55 per cent to $10.22. 

In the energy sector, Santos declined 0.4 per cent to $12.54, Oil Search lost 0.91 per cent to $7.66 and Woodside climbed 0.03 per cent to $35.02.

Financials were lower, with the big four banks all in the red.

Commonwealth Bank declined 1.13 per cent $68.40, while ANZ Banking Group lost 1.15 per cent to $28.25.

National Australia Bank shed 1.4 per cent to $29.265, while Westpac Banking Corporation retracted 1.25 per cent to $28.52.

Investment bank Macquarie Group lost 1.86 per cent to $41.09.

In the insurance sector, QBE fell 1.06 per cent to $14.93, Insurance Australia Group increased 0.18 per cent to $5.45 and Suncorp lost 0.42 per cent to $11.87.  

The retail sector was mostly lower.

Wesfarmers fell 0.92 per cent to $39.235 while Woolworths lost 0.43 per cent to $32.67.

Myer retracted 1.26 per cent at $2.35 while rival David Jones lost 1.57 per cent to $2.51.

Harvey Norman lost 2.75 per cent to $2.48, while JB Hi-Fi lost 0.06 per cent to $16.80.

In media, Fairfax Media fell 2.02 per cent to 48.5 cents, while rival News Corp added 0.89 per cent to $31.50.

Ten Network lost 0.91 per cent to 27.25 cents.

Southern Cross Media decreased 0.35 per cent to $1.42, while Seven West fell 1.32 per cent to $1.875.

Meanwhile, blue chip Telstra fell 0.84 per cent to $4.73, while Qantas lost 1.11 per cent to $1.335.

In economic news on Monday, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) is due to release its index of commodity prices for June. 

The Dun and Bradstreet business expectations survey and TD Securities-Melbourne Institute its inflation gauge for June are also due.

No major equities news is expected.

In Australia, the market on Friday fell on the last day of trade in the financial year as cautious investors sold mining and insurance stocks.

Australia's share market gained 17 per cent over the past year, but the final week of 2012/13 proved a roller coaster ride as global markets worried about an end to US stimulus measures.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index on Friday was down 8.7 points, or 0.18 per cent, at 4,802.6 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index was down 9.4 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 4,775.4 points.