SYDNEY - Australian stocks dropped 1.53 percent at the open Monday after Greece rejected fresh austerity demands by the country's EU-IMF creditors in a landmark referendum.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was trading 84.7 points lower at 5,453.6 soon after the start, although weekend moves by China to stabilise its volatile local markets appeared to help stem some of the bleeding.
"Greece is a rolling situation now - news will move markets as it comes in," said IG Markets' strategist Evan Lucas.
With Greece a fast-moving scenario and China suspending all new IPO listings among a raft of measures to prop up its markets, he added that it was difficult to know where stocks would end the day.
"Our opening calls are conflicted by the two scenarios - one is a clear global drag the other should be a possible positive. However, how China reacts is unknown," he said.
The Australian dollar was fetching 74.84 US cents, recovering after dipping to 74.52 US cents in early trade - its lowest level in six years.
It was buying 68.07 euro cents from 68.35 euro cents on Friday.