SYDNEY: Australian stocks lost 1.63 percent Thursday on doubts over a resolution to the European debt problems and the Federal Reserve portraying the US economy as still weak.
At the close, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 was down 68.8 points at 4,144.9 after the Dow Jones Industrial Average sank 0.63 percent.
John Milroy, investment adviser at Macquarie Private Wealth, said investors were jittery ahead of a European leaders summit Sunday amid reports of a split between France and Germany on how to deal with the eurozone debt crisis.
"Markets are still really whippy," he said.
"There's an expectation you'll get a really good picture of what the agreement will look like when the full G20 meet on November 3 and 4 and markets are really sweating on that."
The commodities-linked Australian dollar was also weaker at 101.62 US cents late in the session, down from 103.13 cents on Wednesday.