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November 28 2012, 10:52AM

Australian stocks have opened weaker, with declines among mining-related sectors leading the broader market lower

At 1034 AEDT, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 17.6 points, or 0.39 per cent, at 4,439.2 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index had fallen 17.7 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 4,455.7 points.

On the ASX 24, the December share price index futures contract was 23 points lower at 4,450 points, with 6,761 contracts traded.

Lonsec private client adviser Michael Heffernan said local market players took their cues from a disappointing night on Wall Street at the start of the Australian trading day.

"I think largely we are following what happened overseas," Mr Heffernan said.

US stocks closed lower in overnight trade, with the Dow easing 0.69 per cent, the S&P500 falling 0.52 per cent and the NASDAQ ended down 0.3 per cent.

Also, futures contract prices for key commodities such as gold, silver and oil settled lower in US trading.

Mr Heffernan said some investors may have chosen to take profits following the strong performance of the local bourse the previous day.

Gold stocks were the worst-performing sector on the local market at 1034 AEDT, having fallen 1.3 per cent, according to IRESS data.

Metals and minerals stocks (down 1.12 per cent) and the materials sector (down 1.02 per cent) had also started the day on the back foot.

Making news on Wednesday, poker machine maker Aristocrat Leisure said net profit for the nine months to September 30, 2012, was $45.5 million, up from $19.9 million in the prior corresponding period.

Aristocrat was up one cent at $2.87.

The spot price of gold in Sydney was $US1,741.40 per fine ounce, down $US8.60 from Tuesday's local close of $US1,750.04 per ounce.

Mr Heffernan said the release of construction data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) at 1130 AEDT would be a focus for investors.

National turnover was 211.1 million securities worth $411 million, with 186 stocks up, 351 down and 273 unchanged.