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Aussie market dives amid sale off in global markets

Xinhua, May 18, 2017 Adjust font size:

The Australian market opened sharply lower on Thursday, with a poor lead from the U.S. offering little positivity for investors.

At 10:25 (AEST), the Australian market was down 67.40 points or 1.16 percent at 5,718.60, while the broader all ordinaries index lost 66.70 points or 1.15 percent at 5,754.50.

With the current political firestorm surrounding the Trump administration and its handling of FBI director James Comey, "Markets have become concerned about the political situation in the United States," CMC Markets chief market analyst Ric Spooner told Xinhua Thursday.

"There is now potential uncertainty about the effectiveness of the current U.S. administration and their ability to get things done and that comes against a background of high valuations, particularly on the U.S. markets."

Spooner said at the forefront of these concerns are banking and financial stocks who are already feeling increased pressure with regards to a new banking tax.

Although the material and mining stocks are also down, the sector has been one of the least affected due to a bounce in iron ore prices overnight and a weaker U.S. dollar.

As for any sign of a recovery, Spooner acknowledged "the most likely outlook is that we will fall further."

The Commonwealth Bank fell 0.84 percent, Westpac plummeted 4.29 percent, National Australia Bank sank 1.36 percent and ANZ dived 1.20 percent.

BHP slid 0.69 percent, Rio Tinto edged lower 0.02 percent, Fortescue Metals lost 1.30 percent, while Newcrest Mining surged 2.55 percent.

Woodside Petroleum slipped 0.43 percent, Santos fell 0.99 percent and Oil Search was down 0.95 percent.

Wesfarmers lost 0.65 percent and Woolworths sanded 1.24 percent.

Telstra dipped 0.34 percent, Qantas dived 2.46 percent and CSL was lower 0.69 percent. Endit