Australia markets closed

Aust shares fall 1.04% at noon

Australian shares fell more than one per cent at noon after steep falls on Wall Street and European markets as well as tumbling resources stocks locally.

At 1200 AEST on Friday, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 42.5 points, or 1.04 per cent, at 4,045.1, while the broader All Ordinaries index was also down 43.3 point, or 1.05 per cent, at 4,090.4.

On the ASX 24, the September share price index futures contract was down 54 points at 4,005 with 16,510 contracts traded.

RBS Morgan's private client adviser, Bill Bishop, said the domestic market had followed the steep falls on offshore markets.

"Most of the things that you would expect to frighten the market in America, frightened the market in America such as the GDP numbers and the general disquiet with what's happening in Europe," he said.

"That's translated here in pretty savage lashing for the usual stocks. The banks are down and of course so are the resources."

US stocks slid sharply, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average sinking two per cent, as disappointing economic data from China and Europe followed the Federal Reserve's slashing its growth forecast for the United States.

At the close the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 250.82 points, or 1.96 per cent, at 12,573.57.

European stocks slid in anxious trade before Spain announced the cost of bailing out its banks and amid a slew of data that suggested a slowdown in the global economy.

London's benchmark FTSE 100 index closed down 0.99 per cent at 5,566.36 points on Thursday.

The mining giants were all lower at noon, as were the four major banks.

BHP Billiton was 79 cents down to $31.41, Rio Tinto was $1.01 lower at $55.89 and Fortescue Metals was 0.5 cents lower at $4.79.

ANZ was down 34 cents to $21.24, National Australia Bank was 8.5 cents lower to $23.05, Westpac dropped 24 cents to $20.74 and Commonwealth Bank fell 31 cents to $51.47.

National turnover was 705 million shares worth $1.396 billion, with 174 up, 641 down and 328 unchanged.