The West

The Aussie sharemarket sharply lower mid-session.
The Aussie sharemarket sharply lower mid-session.

The sharemarket has continued to wallow in morning losses after the US Federal Reserve's decision to further taper its economic stimulus program.

At 10.40am, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 55.2 points, or 1.1 per cent, at 5173.8 points while the broader All Ordinaries index was down 54.3 points, or one per cent, at 5186.3 points.

The Fed's announcement to taper the asset-buying program by another $US10 billion a month fuelled investor concerns about the consequent decline in emerging markets.

The local market opened more than one per cent lower, and had failed to make any improvement by early afternoon.

But Commsec market analyst Juliette Saly said the drop was caused by a knee-jerk reaction from investors in response to a decision that had been in the pipeline for a while.

"Of course it did add to that negative tone overall on US markets, but we can't act as if it was a surprise," she said.

"It was widely expected for some time."

Disappointing earnings numbers from several Australian companies added to the negative tone.

Treasury Wine Estates was the poorest performer, down 83 cents, or more than 18 per cent, at $3.72 after downgrading its earnings guidance due to weaker than expected wine sales.

The market's largest stocks were also lower, with Commonwealth Bank down 72 cents at $74.20, National Australia Bank was down 43 cents at $33.17, Westpac was down 39 cents at $30.81 and ANZ was 35 cents weaker at $30.02.

BHP was down 40 cents at $36.47, Rio Tinto had lost 30 cents at $65.50 and Fortescue Metals was 18 cents weaker at $5.12.

Telstra was down two cents at $5.09.

Gold miners provided one bright spot on the market, with Newcrest Mining up six cents to $9.62.

The West Australian

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