Australian stocks are half a per cent weaker, with declines in the materials and financial sectors leading the broader market lower.
At 1029 AEDT on Wednesday, the benchmark SP/ASX200 index was down 24.5 points, or 0.55 per cent, at 4,466.2 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index had fallen 23.8 points, or 0.53 per cent, to 4,488.1 points.
On the ASX 24, the December share price index futures contract was 19 points lower at 4,465 points, with 8,205 contracts traded.
Australia's two big market contributors were in negative territory at the start of trade, with the materials sector off 1.18 per cent and financial stocks down 0.4 per cent, according to IRESS data.
Rio Tinto was the worst-performing stock on the SP/ASX20, having fallen 1.29 per cent, or 72 cents, to $55.11.
BHP posted the next largest decline, down 0.93 per cent, or 31 cents, at $33.17.
RBS Morgans Ipswich manager Tony Russell said Australian market players took their cues from a weak night on Wall Street, which closed lower after Alcoa said China's economic slowdown was hitting aluminium consumption.
"Certainly, the resources are softer on the back of weak commodity prices, precious metals prices, oil prices," Mr Russell said.
China is one of Australia's major trading partners.
Mr Russell said developments on overseas markets would largely determine direction for the local bourse.
At the closing bell in New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.95 per cent, the SP500 slumped 0.62 per cent and the NASDAQ fell 0.43 per cent.
Making news on Thursday, Seven Group Holdings said that, with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) opposing its application relating to a potential bid for Consolidated Media Holdings, it would vote in favour of News Ltd's Cons Media takeover bid.
Seven was down three cents at $7.00, ConsMedia was up four cents at $3.42 and News Ltd's parent News Corporation was down 38 cents at $24.18.
The spot price of gold in Sydney was $US1,761.50 per fine ounce, down 75 US cents from Wednesday's local close of $US1,762.25 per ounce.
National turnover was 236.7 million securities worth $378.8 million, with 184 stocks up, 400 down and 248 unchanged.