Aust stocks open lower

The Australian share market has opened lower as investors shaken by recent volatility sit on the sidelines ahead of the US central bank's interest rate decision.

Uncertainty about whether the Federal Reserve will lift its benchmark interest rate on Thursday is unnerving investors, Australian Stock Report head of research Chris Conway said.

"There are no major drivers today other then the fact traders and investors are beaten up because the market has been so volatile," he said.

"They are not willing to make any big bets ahead of next week's US interest rate decision, which is why we have seen a it of weakness this morning."

Commonwealth Bank shares have gone into a trading halt while the bank completes its capital raising bookbuild.

At 1030 AEST, Westpac was down 48 cents at $30.28, National Australia Bank had shed 27 cents to $29.91, and ANZ had declined 23 cents to $27.42.

Energy stocks, which have been in focus after Woodside's bid for Oil Search, continue to slide.

Woodside was down 73 cents at $28.40, while Santos had lost two cents to $4.41.

In the US overnight, technology stocks drove Wall Street higher with the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index rising 0.84 per cent, the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 0.47 per cent, and the broad-based S&P 500 gained 0.53 per cent.


* At 1030 AEST on Friday, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 32.2 points, or 0.63 per cent, at 5,062.8 points.

* The broader All Ordinaries index was down 29.7 points, or 0.58 per cent, at 5,087.3 points.

* September share price index futures contract was 39 points lower at 5,039 points, with 17,382 contracts traded.

* National turnover was 304 million securities worth $594 million.

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