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Aust stocks to open lower


Australian stocks are expected to open lower after US stocks fell amid uncertainty sparked by the sacking of Rex Tillerson as US secretary of state.

At 0700 AEDT on Wednesday, the Australian share price futures index was down 34 points, or 0.57 per cent, at 5,934.

In the US on Tuesday, the Dow Jones index was down almost one per cent, after the market mood turned sour following the dismissal of Rex Tillerson.

US President Donald Trump fired Tillerson after a series of public rifts over issues including North Korea and Russia.

The Australian share market on Tuesday closed lower amid weakness across most sectors, with the miners the biggest drag following falls in commodity prices and a negative lead from US markets..

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 was down 21.4 points, or 0.36 per cent, at 5,974.7 points, the broader All Ordinaries index was down 24.3 points, or 0.4 per cent, at 6,077.1 points.

In economic news on Wednesday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics releases lending finance figures for January, and Reserve Bank Assistant Governor (Financial Markets) Christopher Kent speaks at the KangaNews DCM Summit, in Sydney.

The Australian dollar followed US stocks lower on the back of the Tillerson sacking, after earlier rising on the back of subdued US inflation figures.

At 0700 AEDT on Wednesday, the local currency was worth 78.53 US cents, down from 78.72 US cents on Tuesday.


One Australian dollar buys:

* 78.53 US cents, from 78.72 on Tuesday

* 83.67 Japanese yen, from 84.06 yen

* 63.40 euro cents, from 63.86 euro cents

* 56.25 British pence, from 56.68 pence

* 107.21 NZ cents, from 107.53 cents


The spot price of gold in Sydney at 0700 AEDT was $US1,325.71 per fine ounce, from $US1,320.08 per fine ounce on Tuesday.


* CGS 4.50 per cent April 2020, 2.0271pct, unchanged from Tuesday

* CGS 4.75pct April 2027, 2.7599pct, unchanged

Sydney Futures Exchange prices:

* March 2018 10-year bond futures contract at 97.233 (implying a yield of 2.767pct), from 97.203 (2.797pct) on Tuesday

* March 2018 3-year bond futures contract at 97.870 (2.130pct), from 97.850 (2.150pct).

(*Bond market closes taken at 1630 AEDT previous local session; currency closes taken from 1700 AEDT previous local session)