RTTNews - Tracking the overnight weakness on Wall Street where stocks fell on profit taking ahead of corporate earnings reports and a slew of economic data, the Australian market opened lower on Wednesday, with resource stocks leading the fall.

Besides energy and materials stocks, healthcare, financials, utilities, consumer staples and consumer discretionary stocks are also seen trading weak.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index, which opened around 3,750 and fell to 3,730, is currently down 40 points at 3,726.9. The broader All Ordinaries index is trading at 3,726, down by around 42 points from its previous close.

The S&P/ASX 200 index had ended 16.80 points or 0.4% down at 3,767 on Tuesday, while the All Ordinaries index closed lower by 16.40 points or 0.43% at 3,768.

Among materials stocks, BHP Billiton is currently down by over 2%, Rio Tinto is drifting down by around 1% and Newcrest Mining is trading lower by 1.8%. Fortescue Metals is down by 4.3%. Orica, Lihir Gold and Bluescope Steel are also trading with notable losses.

Energy stocks Woodside Petroleum, Santos and Origin Energy are trading lower by 1%-3%.

In the banking space, ANZ Bank is up by over 1%. National Australia Bank and Westpac are trading flat, while Commonwealth Bank of Australia is down by 1.6%. Diversified financials stock Macquarie Group is down with a 2.3% loss.

Evestra has signed a three-year A$280 million facility with a syndicate of five banks. The funds will be used to repay other debts and support capital spending. The firm, engaged in natural gas distribution, says it has also made a new arrangement with ANZ Banking to convert an undrawn working capital facility worth A$50 million for a year into a three-year A$75 million facility. The stock is currently down by a little over 1%.

In economic news, the Westpac Consumer Confidence reading for July and data on Home Loans and Investment Lending for the month of May will be released today.

In the currency market, the Australian dollar opened lower on Wednesday as investors turned away from riskier assets once again. In early trading, the local unit was quoted at US$0.7890/93, down from Tuesday's close of US$0.7958/63. The Aussie is currenty trading at 0.07862 to the U.S. dollar.

Among other markets in the Asia-Pacific region, Japan is down sharply in the red. Singapore, New Zealand and Korea are also trading with notable losses.

On Tuesday, stocks declined sharply on Wall Street, with investors taking some profits amid a lack of significant economic data. Traders also preferred to tread a cautious route ahead of the earnings reporting season and the release of employment, international trade and consumer sentiment reports.

The Dow fell 161.27 points or 1.9% to 8,163.60, the Nasdaq closed down 41.23 points or 2.3% at 1,746.17, while the S&P 500 dropped by 17.69 or 2% to 881.03.

The stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region had ended Tuesday's session on a mixed note. Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed down by 0.3 percent, while South Korea's KOSPI rose 0.4 percent on the day.

Major European markets closed in negative territory. The German DAX Index and French CAC 40 Index fell by 1.2% and 1.1%, respectively, while the U.K.'s FTSE 100 dipped 0.2%.

Oil prices plunged below US$63 per barrel, recording their lowest levels since May, on deep concerns about energy demand in a struggling global economy. Light sweet crude for August delivery tumbled US$1.12 to US$62.93 a barrel on Tuesday.

For comments and feedback: contact editorial@rttnews.com