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Australian stocks start lower, S&P sinks 5.3pts

Australian stocks start lower, S&P sinks 5.3pts

SYDNEY: The Australian stocks opened lower following a weak lead from Wall Street amid growing concerns of a Greek debt default.

At 6.45am (AEDT) on Tuesday, the March share price index futures contract was down three points at 5,757.

In a rousing policy speech to parliament, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras refused to apply for an extension for an international bailout, raising the prospects that the country could quit the eurozone.

In local economic news on Tuesday, National Australia Bank will release its monthly business survey while the Australian Bureau of Statistics will release quarterly property price data.

In equities news, law firm Slater and Gordon are expected to release their half year results, along with biotech firm Cochlear.

In Australia, the market’s stellar run came to an end on Monday as a sharp drop in Chinese imports caused weakness in the mining sector.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 5.3 points, or 0.09 per cent, at 5,814.5.

The broader All Ordinaries index was down 4.6 points, or 0.08 per cent, at 5,770.1.