Aust shares stumble at open

Monday, 27 August, 2018 - 08:58

Australian shares have opened lower, weighed down by weakness in healthcare and financial stocks, despite Wall Street finishing on a high on Friday.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 10.7 points, or 0.17 per cent, to 6,236.6 points at 1015 AEST on Monday, while the All Ordinaries was down 8.5 points, or 0.13 per cent, to 6,349.4 points.

In futures trading, the SPI200 futures contract was down 15 points, or 0.24 per cent at 6,206 points.

On Wall Street on Friday, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell affirmed the US central bank's current pace of rate hikes.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished last week up 133.37 points, or 0.52 per cent at 25,790.35 points, the S&P500 was up 17.71 points or 0.62 per cent at 2,874.69 points, while the tech-heavy NASDAQ index was up 67.51 points or 0.86 per cent at 7,945.98 points.

Among local companies reporting results, Reliance Worldwide shares dropped nearly 7.0 per cent to $5.73 after the plumbing supplies giant reported a flat full-year profit of $66 million, while Michael Hill shares were down 3.5 per cent to 96.5 cents after the jewellery chain posted an 86 per cent plunge in full-year profit due to one-off restructuring costs.

The Australian dollar is buying 73.40 US cents at 1015 AEST, up from 72.84 US cents on Friday.