(Updates with movements in early trade)
SYDNEY, June 18 (Reuters) - Australian shares fell 0.4 percent on Tuesday, dragged down by high-yielding stocks as investors remain cautious ahead of the outcome of a Federal Reserve meeting as they look for clues on when the U.S. central bank will start tapering its stimulus programme.
Banks put the market on the back foot. Commonwealth Bank of Australia fell 0.6 percent and National Australia Bank lost 0.8 percent.
Flagship telecommunications provider Telstra Ltd slipped 0.5 percent.
The S&P/ASX 200 index fell 15 points to 4,810.9 by 0013 GMT. The benchmark rose 0.7 percent on Monday.
The Fed meets over Tuesday and Wednesday amid intense speculation over its massive bond-buying campaign, but most economists do not expect it to scale back purchases from their current $85 billion monthly pace.
The domestic bourse has suffered a sharp selloff recently on uncertainty over the Fed’s stimulus, tumult in Japanese equities and slowing growth in China, Australia’s major export market.
New Zealand’s benchmark NZX 50 index added 0.7 percent or 30.1 points to trade at 4,477.7. (Reporting by Thuy Ong; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)