Tech stocks brace for hard day

Tech stocks brace for hard day

The Australian Stock Market is expected to take yet another battering today as the effects of Friday's crash on Wall Street and the Nasdaq reverberate locally.

The Dow Jones closed in the US on Friday more than 5 per cent down, representing its biggest-ever point fall. The Nasdaq Composite Index also fell dramatically, dropping almost 10 per cent on Friday, down more than 25 per cent the whole week.

While it is likely that local high-tech stocks will be hardest hit by the expected falls, stocks across the board may be affected, economists are warning.

A fall in the All Ordinaries Index of more than 100 points has been forecast.

Important stocks to watch today include successful dotcom and ebusiness companies, including Solution 6, Sausage Software, LookSmart and ecorp, as well as News Corp and Telstra.

Meanwhile, companies including Telstra have already begun to re-think their roadmaps in the wake of the deflated market.

Some reports over the weekend suggested that Telstra may have to reconsider how its Asia-Pacific investment with Hong Kong-based Pacific Century CyberWorks (PCCW) is funded. Telstra announced last week a $US3 billion alliance to create two joint venture companies with PCCW.

Several upcoming floats, including the Seven Network mobile phone spin-off B Digital, telecommunications company Nomad, outsourcing company UCMS and News Corp's satellite business, are also expected to be delayed.

Meanwhile, a further sell-off of News Corp shares is expected following the announcement over the weekend that chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch has been diagnosed with prostate cancer.

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