Aust shares open lower

Australian shares opened slightly lower but moved higher in choppy trade following Monday's carnage when $40 billion was wiped off the share market.

There were heavy falls in US and European markets overnight, particularly the latter, due to the economic turmoil in Greece where banks are closed and the odds of a eurozone exit increase.

The big Australian banks were weaker, with the financial sector in the firing line in the event of a Greek debt default and continued eurozone turmoil.

"If the worst case scenario evolved there would potentially be a tightening up of credit markets, reduced lending putting pressure on the banks," CMC Markets chief market analyst Ric Spooner told AAP.

"Australia is a debtor nation that borrows from the rest of the world and banks are the mechanism by which we do that."

The end of the financial year, end of the quarter and month will add to volatility and unpredictability in trading on Tuesday as fund managers close out positions.

ANZ fell eight cents to $31.99, Westpac declined 13 cents to $31.89, Commonwealth Bank fell 11 cents to $84.58 and National Australia Bank was down 13 cents at $33.07.

BHP Billiton was up nine cents at $27.04, Rio Tinto fell two cents to $53.27 and Fortescue Metals was 3.5 cents weaker at $1.895.

Energy stocks were down after oil price falls overnight, also a fallout of Europe's economic problems.

Woodside Petroleum was 11 cents lower at $33.88, Oil Search retreated half a cent to $7.155 and Santos had given up 5.5 cents to $7.885.

KEY FACTS

* At 1054 AEST on Tuesday, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 14.0 points, or 0.2 per cent, at 5,433.9 points.

* The broader All Ordinaries index was up 10.7 points, or 0.14 per cent, at 5,425.0 points.

* The September share price index futures contract was flat at 5,379 points, with 13,951 contracts traded.

* National turnover was 511 billion securities worth $1.15 billion.

Market Data

  • Currencies
    Currencies
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    0.7652+0.0003+0.04%
    AUDUSD=X
    0.4902+0.0004+0.08%
    AUDGBP=X
    0.6913-0.0005-0.08%
    AUDEUR=X