UPDATE 7.30am: Australian stocks have opened weaker, as a disappointing finish on Wall Street over the weekend prompted widespread selling at the start of the local trading week.
At 7.28am, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 46 points, or 1.01 per cent, at 4525.1 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index had fallen 45.7 points, or 0.99 per cent, to 4547.8 points.
On the ASX 24, the December share price index futures contract was 45 points lower at 4522 points, with 7408 contracts traded.
Every sector on the local market was in negative territory at the open, with metals and minerals stocks (down 1.77 per cent) and the gold sector (down 1.68 per cent) the two worst performers, according to IRESS data.
Burrell Stockbroking director Richard Herring said the weakness on Wall Street had set the tone for the local trading day and he expected little recovery from current levels throughout Monday's session.
Mr Herring noted the local market had posted some good gains in recent times, having closed at a near 15-month high on Thursday, October 18.
“I'd expect some consolidation, but nothing too dramatic,” Mr Herring said.
Mr Herring said the release of the Federal Government's mid-year economic and fiscal outlook due later today was expected to have little impact on the equities market.
Wall Street fell sharply on Friday night, posting its worst single-day decline since June following a series of poor earnings results.
The Dow dropped 1.52 per cent, the S&P500 slipped 1.66 per cent and the NASDAQ backpedalled 2.19 per cent.
Making news, GrainCorp said it was reviewing an offer from Archer Daniels Midland worth $11.75 per share, or $2.7 billion, and had appointed Credit Suisse and Greenhill as financial advisers.
The grain handler, which last traded at $8.85, was due to come out of a trading halt at 8am.
The spot price of gold in Sydney was $US1715.10 per fine ounce, down $US23.17 from Friday's local close of $US1738.27 per ounce.Market turnover at 7.28am was 272.4 million securities worth $432.9 million, with 148 stocks up, 500 down and 259 unchanged.