Australian shares ease on cyclone concerns

Australian mining stocks are suffering today, following the shut down of some key iron ore export terminals and offshore oilfields as Cyclone Narelle nears the country's north-west.

The broader share market is also coming under pressure - the All Ordinaries index was down 5 points to 4,740 just before midday (AEDT), and the ASX 200 was 7 points lower at 4,716.

Fortescue Metals was down just under 2 per cent, BHP Billiton had fallen 1.5 per cent, and Rio Tinto was also 1.5 per cent lower.

Woodside Petroleum was down 4 cents to $34.69.

Shares in online job advertisements firm Seek were up almost 2.5 per cent, as the company increased its majority stake in a Chinese employment classifieds firm.

Department stores were mixed - Myer was up 1.8 per cent and David Jones was down 1.3 per cent.

Commonwealth Bank shares had fallen 4 cents to $61.57, Westpac was down just a cent, ANZ was up 11 cents to $25.26 and NAB was 0.4 per cent higher.

The Australian dollar was buying 105.84 US cents, after rising strongly yesterday afternoon.

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