Australian stocks are getting smoked

Picture: Miramax

Australian stocks continue to fall in midday trade, after a global stock sell-off in overnight markets.

Stocks opened more than 1% lower and a short time ago, the ASX200 was down by almost 1.6%.

Global bond yields rose overnight on the expectation that major central banks will move to tighten monetary policy. That set off skittishness on stock markets as investors brace for a potential rise in volatility.

Energy stocks led the major sub-sectors lower, with the ASX200 Energy Index a short time ago down 1.6% after oil prices fell for the first time in 6 days. Woodside petroleum is down more than 2%.

The major banks are down by more than 1%, with the ASX200 financials index down by 1.3%. Bank of Queensland is the worst performer in the sector, a short time ago down almost 2%.

There were smaller falls in resources stocks, but they’ve followed the rest of the index lower throughout the day. BHP is down over 1%, while Rio has lost 0.35%.

Leading biotechnology company CSL is down more than 2%. Shares in financial services company BT Financial Group plunged at the open after a broker downgrade, and a short time ago were down almost 6.5% to $11.54.

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