Aussie shares open lower amid reaction to U.S. tax reform

Source: Xinhua| 2017-12-21 08:35:32|Editor: Yurou
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SYDNEY, Dec. 21 (Xinhua) -- The Australian stock market opened lower on Thursday, with firm commodities and bond prices in a mix of reaction to major tax reform in the United States.

At 10:17 (AEST), the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index was down 15.7 points or 0.26 percent at 6,059.9, while the broader All Ordinaries index was lower 14.9 points or 0.24 percent at 6,153.

The day's trading would likely have to take into account the latest passing of U.S. tax reform legislation, which includes significant cuts to corporate taxes, CMC Markets chief market analyst Ric Spooner said in a morning note to investors.

"Sentiment on this morning's market opening looks like depending on a tussle between strong commodities prices on the one hand and rising bond prices plus the muted stock market reaction to U.S. tax reform finalisation on the other," he said.

"The impact of trading associated with the expiry of futures and option contracts will throw a wild card into this mix over the next couple of days."

Energy counters were also set to see support in the morning, on the back of a reduction in U.S. oil inventory last week, he added.

"The recent decline in crude inventories sends the oil market in the New Year with a defensive buffer against the possibility of rising shale oil production."

The country's big banks opened mixed, with ANZ rising 0.14 percent and Commonwealth Bank of Australia up 0.34 percent, while National Australia Bank dipped 0.47 percent and Westpac slipped 0.19 percent.

Mining giant BHP Billiton opened 0.11 percent lower while rival Rio Tinto rose 0.88 percent. Fortescue Metals edged up 0.2 percent and Newcrest Mining lifted 0.68 percent. Oil Search was down 0.27 percent.

Supermarket chain Wesfarmers opened 0.33 percent higher and rival Woolworths gained 0.18 percent.

Qantas climbed 1.54 percent while telecom giant Telstra fell 1.08 percent. Biomed giant CSL was 0.6 percent lower.