Australian stocks opened 1.97 percent lower Monday as the market digested the prospect of Greece leaving the eurozone after Athens called a referendum on creditors' reform demands.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 109.4 points at 5,436.5 at 10:12 am (0012 GMT).
The fall was offset somewhat by China on Saturday announcing it would again ease interest rates by 25 basis points to boost growth.
"China's stimulus measures may stem the bleeding a little -– but it will be a sea of red all day today. Risk mitigation will be everything," said IG Markets' strategist Evan Lucas.
In early trade the Australian dollar was fetching 76.21 US cents, down from 77.02 cents late Friday. It was buying 69.44 euro cents from 68.77 euro cents on Friday.